Responding to the latest delayed transfers of care figures published today by NHS England, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, 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 just over 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.
“The £2 billion announced in the Spring Budget was a step in the right direction, yet councils still face an annual social care funding gap of £2.3 billion by 2020.
“For this money to be spent effectively, councils need to be given full freedom and flexibility to invest it in the areas where it is most needed.
“The recent announcement around how this should be spent shows this freedom is very much lacking. Setting councils what will at least in some cases be unachievable reduction targets for delayed transfers is unhelpful, and it is disappointing councils are being hit with even further pressures at a time when services are already strained and overstretched.
“It is absolutely critical that the Government brings forward its consultation for social care announced in the Queen’s Speech, and that it works with local government leaders in delivering a long-term sustainable funding solution for social care.”