“No one's elderly parent, grandparents or friends should be left unnecessarily in a hospital bed, when they could be treated in the comfort and dignity of their own home."
Responding to delayed discharges figures for February 2017 published today by NHS England, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Linda Thomas, said:
“No one's elderly parent, grandparents or friends should be left unnecessarily in a hospital bed, when they could be treated in the comfort and dignity of their own home.
“Councils are absolutely committed to reducing the level of delayed transfers of care from the NHS and are working with providers and hospitals to help reduce pressures on health services.
“Across the country nearly six out of 10 people delayed in hospital are unable to leave because they require further NHS services, with around a third awaiting support from council social care.
“The scale of underfunding councils have faced in recent years is placing the care provider market under huge pressure, making it more difficult to discharge people from hospital back to their homes and communities.
“But while reducing delayed transfers of care is a significant challenge for both councils and the NHS, this is by no means the only issue facing health and social care, and it’s important it does not become the basis for which overall performance is judged.
"The LGA has worked hard to highlight the significant pressures facing adult social care and secure desperately-needed new government funding for the system. It also works to support member councils tackle these challenges, for example working with local care providers to ensure there are out of hospital beds to meet needs, and using telecare to better support people to recover in their own homes.
“The new funding for social care and the £2 billion announced over the next three years in the Budget is a significant step towards helping councils plug some of the social care funding gaps they face in the coming years.
“However, short-term pressures remain and they further emphasise the need to reform and fully fund the current social care system and find a long-term solution to the social care funding crisis.
“The Government's Green Paper provides the opportunity to begin a much-needed meaningful national conversation about how, as a society, we should best support people of all ages with care and support needs in our communities.”