Responding to the latest Delayed Transfers of Care figures, published by NHS Digital, Julie Ogley, Vice President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said:

“It is good news that the number of delayed transfers of care due to social care have fallen. This is testament to the hard work of people working in social care, in what have been very difficult circumstances given the immense financial pressures they are under.

“But social care is about so much more than reducing pressure on hospitals – it supports people in the community to have greater independence with more choice and control. However there is desperate need for social care to be fully resourced. Social care cannot be seen as of value only because it can contribute to reducing delays in hospital, it must also be resourced to enable people to have enough support to live good lives, stabilise care markets and improve the working conditions of the 1.5m people who work in social care.

“We cannot just focus on delayed transfers of care at the expense of keeping people well at home or reducing their need to go to hospital in the first place.

“Should we ever need social care, we would want to be supported to live as fulfilling lives as possible, so that we can be active members of our communities. Going forward, this can only be achieved if the Government broadens the scope of social care to be about more than reducing delays, and provides the long-term funding solution that the sector desperately needs in the upcoming green paper on social care.

“It is vital that we have a long-term funding solution for adult social care, which must be addressed in the forthcoming Spending Review. The Government must also urgently publish its long-awaited green paper, and it was disappointing this was not developed in parallel with the NHS Long Term Plan.”