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Delayed transfer days rise 'despite best efforts of health and social care'

January 2019 sees rise in the number of delayed transfer of care days

Published on 25th March 2019

Delayed transfer of care days rose in January 2019 from the previous month "despite the very best efforts of councils and care providers," the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has said.

There were 135,683 delayed transfer of care days in January this year which equates to 4,377 delayed transfer of care beds. This compares to 129,374 delayed transfer of care and 4,173 delayed beds in December 2018.

Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “Social care is about helping people live well and independently in their homes, and to keep them out of hospital in the first place. However the severe funding pressures facing services means this is under real threat.

“Despite the very best efforts of councils and care providers, this was a difficult month as hospitals came under significant strain as a result of winter pressures.

“However, social care is much more than just reducing pressure on hospitals. It is about supporting people in the community to have greater choice and control over their own lives and independence.

“Keeping people well at home and reducing their need to go to hospital in the first place should be the main focus, not just on reducing delayed transfers of care," he added.

Of the 135,700 total delayed days in January 2019, 86,800 were in acute care. However this is a decrease from January 2018, where there were 151,400 total delayed days, of which 99,000 were in acute care.

Of the delayed days in January 2019, 61.3% of all delays were attributable to the NHS, 30.5% were attributable to social care and the remaining 8.1% were attributable to both NHS and social care.

The main reason for social care delays in January 2019 was “Patients Awaiting Care Package in their Own Home”. This accounted for 13,900 delayed days (33.6% of all social care delays) The number of delays attributable to this reason had been increasing steadily since April 2014 and reached a peak in December 2016. Delays attributable to this reason have been gradually decreasing since March 2018.

Glen Garrod added: "“In order for people to have the support they need to live good lives, while keeping our fragile care markets stable and safeguard our 1.5 million social care workforce, we need a new and sustainable funding solution.

“Therefore the government needs to step up and finally provide the answers to these questions in its long-delayed green paper as a matter of urgency," he concluded.

Transfer of care days data available here

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