COUNCILS in Wales are being handed an extra £10 million to run social care in an effort to treat people in their homes and communities rather than hospital, it has been announced.

The Welsh Government's health secretary Vaughan Gething announced the extra funding in the Assembly earlier today during a statement on how Wales' NHS had coped with increased pressure over the winter.

He said December 2017 was the busiest December on record in accident and emergency departments across Wales, with 136 more attendances per day compared to the same month a year earlier.

The same month also saw the highest number of patients aged 85 or older being admitted to hospital from accident and emergency.

Mr Gething said: “Health and social services in Wales have been under significant pressure this winter, like the rest of the UK.

"It is testament to the commitment and skill of staff that the vast majority of people continue to receive the care they need in a compassionate, professional and timely manner.

“Social care plays a huge part in delivering care as close to home as possible.

"I realise it has been under considerable pressure over recent months.

"In recognition of the demand being experienced, I have decided to provide an additional £10 million to local authorities to enable social services to support people in their homes and communities.”

But he added winter is not yet over, and Wales' health service was still facing pressure.

"Winter does not neatly end at the end of February," he said.

"Pressure remains in our system at this point in time, and there will inevitably be more difficult days to come.

"We will continue to work closely with our staff, across health and care services, to ensure the very best outcomes possible for our people by delivering the right care at the right time and in the right place."

And children and social care minister Huw Irranca Davies said: “Our health and social care services are heavily dependent on each other."