Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responds to a Care Quality Commission report on managing rising demand on health and social care services, which is increasing pressure on emergency departments.
“To help reduce pressures on the NHS, adult social care needs to be put on an equal footing with the health service and councils need urgent funding to invest in effective prevention work to reduce the need for people to be admitted to hospital in the first place.
“Councils have been doing all they can to get people discharged from hospital in a safe and a timely way, not just during winter, but all year round, which has reduced the average number of delayed transfer of care days attributed to social care since July 2017 by 30 per cent.
“Instead of focusing disproportionately on delayed transfers of discharges of care, a whole-system approach to health and social care – which recognises that community based support, including adult social care, helps to prevent hospital admission - is needed to ensure that people are adequately supported through their patient journey.
“However, due to significant funding shortfalls, the adult social care system is under severe strain and community based services are being reduced, which is impacting on inpatient services.
“To help tackle this, the Government needs to plug the funding gap facing adult social care which is set to exceed £2 billion by 2020. The majority of this pressure is now with an estimated £1.3 billion of that shortfall needed to stabilise the care market.
“Reductions in councils’ public health grants – which fund essential prevention work and early intervention services – also need to be reversed by the Government, which will help to further reduce NHS pressures and costs increasing.”
Notes to editors
- There has been a £600 million reduction in councils’ public health budgets by central government between 2015/16 and 2019/20.