Responding to calls from Age UK for the Government to bring forward proposals for social care following a rise in delayed transfers of care, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Nearly 60 per cent of all delayed transfers of care are actually down to the NHS due to patients waiting for other health services or assessments.
“However, no council wants to see anyone stay in hospital for a day longer than necessary.
“Councils are doing all they can to try and help people live independently in their communities and reduce demand on hospitals.
“But with unprecedented funding cuts since 2010 and social care services facing a £2.3 billion funding gap by 2020, this is becoming increasingly difficult. That is why the need for the Government to use the Autumn Budget to reform and fully fund social care is urgent.
“The extra money for social care announced in the Spring Budget was a step in the right direction, but this was one-off funding and not a long-term solution.
“The recent threats by the Government and NHS England to withhold or direct how councils spend this money is not the way to solve the social care crisis. We need to work together to make sure we make the best use of our scarce resources, social care services and care workers.
“It is vital they work with councils to prevent people ending up in hospital in the first place and helping those unfortunate to be stuck unnecessarily in a hospital bed get out quickly and safely, back into the community and close to their loved ones.”