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14.03.16

Bring forward social care funding to tackle rising care transfer delays – ADASS

Delayed care transfers nearly reached record levels in January 2016, prompting the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) to join the growing chorus of calls for the government to bring forward £700m of social care funding in this week’s budget.

New figures show that there were 159,100 total delayed days, when medically fit patients had to remain in a hospital bed, in January 2016, of which 103,500 were in acute care. This is a 6% increase from January 2015, where there were 150,400 total delayed days, of which 103,200 were in acute care. It is also the second highest number of total delayed days reported in a month since monthly data was first collected in August 2010.

The majority (61%) were attributable to the NHS, with the main reason (in 30.8% of cases) being a wait for further non-acute NHS care. Social care were responsible for 32.3% of delays, with the main reason (32.7%) being a wait for a care package in the patient’s home. The proportion attributable to social care problems has increased, from 25.9% in January 2015.

Ray James, president of the ADASS, 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 £4.6bnn in the last five years. There can be no getting away from the simple truth that the demand for and cost of providing social care significantly exceeds the money being made available by government.

“The government has promised more money but it is too little and too late. 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. While by no means a complete solution, bringing forward the new funding currently planned for the end of this Parliament would go some way to alleviating this immediate pressure.”

The LGA has previously urged the government to bring forward the £700m of social care funding from the end of this Parliament to this year.

It also warned today that further cuts to councils in the Budget, combined with increasing pressures on local authorities, would be “a false economy”.

PSE will be providing full coverage of the Budget as it happens on Wednesday.

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