Care services help cut hospital bed delays

The Government provided an additional £2 billion for care services in the 2017 Spring Budget, through the improved Better Care Fund (iBCF). This was used to help meet adult social care needs and support the local care provider market. It also set councils targets for reducing delayed transfers of care attributable to social care. LGA analysis shows there was a reduction of 513,773 days in such delays between July 2017 and June 2019, freeing up hospital beds and improving people’s lives by making sure they did not stay on wards for longer than necessary. There was a 40 per cent reduction in the average number of people delayed per day, while the NHS reduced its own delayed days by 17 per cent.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “No council wants to see someone stay in hospital for a day longer than necessary.

“Thanks to the hard work of councils’ social care teams, the NHS has seen delayed transfers of care attributable to social care fall dramatically.

“This means more people living independently, much-needed beds freed up for those who urgently need them and pressure reduced on the NHS.

“This is clear evidence of the human value of investing in the social care services that support millions of people every day and the vital role it can play in alleviating pressure on the health service.”

He added: “Extra funding next year will help, but pressures will continue to rise until a long-term, sustainable funding solution for adult social care is found that allows councils to focus equally on preventing people going to hospital in the first place.”

  • Despite funding pressures, quality ratings across social care have been maintained overall, with 84 per cent of providers now rated as good or outstanding, according to the Care Quality Commission’s annual State of Care report.



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