Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responds to the latest figures published today by NHS England on the delayed transfers of care.
“These figures are not unexpected and show that, despite an overall increase in the total number of delayed days, councils have done well to minimise this rise during a particularly challenging winter period when demand pressures increased due to worsening health conditions.
“The number of delayed days due to social care has only risen marginally, by 0.3 per cent. Since July 2017 delays due to social care have fallen by about 27 per cent. This is testament to ongoing efforts by councils to get people out of hospital promptly and safely so they can return to live in their own homes and communities close to their loved ones and families.
“Despite significant funding and resource pressures and increased demand, councils are fulfilling their commitments and managing their budgets to address escalating challenges in adult social care.
“However, if delayed transfers of care and pressures on the NHS are to be reduced, it’s imperative that adult social care is seen as an essential service in its own right, given parity with the health service and fully funded to future-proof it for the rising numbers of people who need care.
“Government needs to give urgent funding to councils to invest in effective prevention work to reduce the need for people to be admitted to hospital in the first place, which will help to reduce costs to the public purse.
“Councils will continue to work closely with their NHS partners locally but government needs to address immediate pressures as part of the funding gap in adult social care which is set to exceed £2 billion by 2020.”
Notes to editors
- The latest delayed transfers of care figures for February 2018 are available here.
- Between January and February delayed transfers of care due to social care have increased by 0.3 per cent, while delays due to the NHS have risen by 1.9 per cent. Since July 2017, delays due to social care have fallen by about 27 per cent, while delays due to the NHS have fallen by 8.5 per cent.
- Falls prevention programmes based on home assessment and modification schemes for elderly people (pg 44) have shown to reduce the number of falls requiring hospital admission over two years by an estimated 23 per cent. They also produce a financial return on investment of £3.17 for every £1 spent, and a societal (quality of life) return of £7.34 for every £1 spent.