“These figures show that, despite an overall increase in the total number of delayed days, councils have kept a lid on this rise, battling against the odds during a challenging winter period when demand pressures – which have included a flu outbreak – typically rise due to worsening health conditions.
“The number of delayed days due to social care has only risen marginally, by 1 per cent. Since July 2017, delays due to social care have fallen by 27 per cent.
“This reflects the continuous hard work by councils to get people out of hospital in a timely and safe manner so they can return to live in the comfort of their own homes and communities close to their loved ones and families.
“Despite significant funding and resource pressures, councils are fulfilling their commitments while also delivering effective budget management.
“To help reduce delayed transfers of care and pressures on the NHS, social care needs to be given parity with the health service. A sustainable NHS cannot be achieved without a sustainable social care system so investment in social care is a sound economic choice for the NHS, society and the country.
“Councils will continue to work closely with their NHS partners locally but government needs to fully fund our social care system.
“The extra £2 billion last year, and a further £150 million for adult social care announced in the final Local Government Finance Settlement, while helpful, is not enough to address immediate pressures as part of the £2.3 billion funding gap facing social care by 2020.”