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Figures released today have delivered the most damning evidence of the continued and unrelenting pressure on social care, and the impact it has on people in hospital and needing care, to date.
The NHS England figures show that more people were confined to hospital beds in March, despite being medically fit enough to leave, than at any other time since figures started being compiled this way in April 2011. There were 169,928 individual delayed days; 32.2 per cent were due solely to unprecedented pressures on the adult social care system, with the main reason being people awaiting care packages in their own home.
President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Harold Bodmer, said:
“People deserve to receive the care and support they need in the right place and at the right time. Sometimes that will be in hospital, but when people are well enough to leave, we need to have good care available to get people home safely.
“More people are now living longer, with increasingly complex needs, while adult social care budgets have been cut by 31 per cent in the last parliament.
“The Government has promised more money but it is too little and too late, with the March budget a missed opportunity to bring forward desperately needed funding currently planned for the end of the decade. Unless the Government addresses the chronic underfunding of adult social care – and quickly - many services will be at significant risk over the next couple of years, with worrying consequences not only for the NHS, but most of all for older and disabled people, their families and carers.”
Notes to Editors
- The NHS England figures on Delayed Transfers of Care are available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/delayed-transfers-of-care/delayed-transfers-of-care-data-2015-16/
- In March 2016, the number of delayed days was 169,928. This represents a 21 per cent increase over the last year. This was also the highest number of total delayed days reported in a month since monthly data was first collected in this way in April 2011. The previous highest was October 2015 with 160,094.
- In March 2015, the number of delayed days attributable to social care was 54,763, the highest figure in these monthly statistics since April 2011. This represents 32.2 per cent of delays, up from 26.9 per cent in March 2015.
- Over the last three years (March 2013 - March 2016) the total number of individual days attributable to social care has risen from 31,980 to 54,763. This represents a 71% increase.