Figures released today have delivered the most damning evidence of the continued and unrelenting pressure social care, and the impact it has on people in hospital and needing care, to date.
The NHS England figures show that more people were confined to hospital beds in March, despite being medically fit enough to leave, than at any other time since figures started being compiled this way in April 2011. There were 169,928 individual delayed days; 32.2 per cent were due solely to unprecedented pressures on the adult social care system, with the main reason being people awaiting care packages in their own home.
President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Harold Bodmer, said:
“People deserve to receive the care and support they need in the right place and at the right time. Sometimes that will be in hospital, but when people are well enough to leave, we need to have good care available to get people home safely.
“More people are now living longer, with increasingly complex needs, while adult social care budgets have been cut by 31 per cent in the last parliament.
“The Government has promised more money but it is too little and too late, with the March budget a missed opportunity to bring forward desperately needed funding currently planned for the end of the decade. Unless the Government addresses the chronic underfunding of adult social care – and quickly – many services will be at significant risk over the next couple of years, with worrying consequences not only for the NHS, but most of all for older and disabled people, their families and carers.”