Responding to the report of the National Audit Office on reducing emergency admissions into hospital, Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: 

“ADASS has long called for serious reform of adult social care, and this report underlines the immediate need for this. The upcoming green paper from the Government must not only provide a long-term, sustainable financial footing for adult social care, but also enable us to keep people out of hospital in the first place, by keeping them well and living healthy lives in their communities.   

“That means being able to stay at home without having to go to accident and emergency. That’s why adult social care teams across the country are putting in their very best efforts, and continue to do so despite the snow and freezing weather, to make sure that vulnerable adults in their communities get the care and support they need.

“They can rightly be proud that delays in transfers of care attributable to social care have decreased over the last year, and they will continue to work hard to deliver support which is as personalised, effective and efficient as possible. This in turn will further reduce the number of people who find themselves delayed in hospital after treatment.

“There is no getting away from the fact that urgent action is needed if the care crisis in this country is ever to be addressed. Immediate funding must be made available to help hard-pressed social care teams cope with the demands on their surfaces.  

“However, governments of all persuasions have kicked this issue into the long grass over many years. It’s time to stop philosophising, and get on with delivering the long-term, sustainable strategy for social care that vulnerable adults across this country deserve – and that the green paper must deliver.”