Resources must be `robust` councils tell delayed discharge inquiry

Measures to reduce hospital admissions and enable timely
discharge from hospital will only be viable if local authority
services are “adequately and robustly resourced”, the Local
Government Association has claimed, writes Katie

In its written evidence to the health committee inquiry into
delayed discharges, the LGA said that supporting people in the
community requires significant medium and long term funding.

“The funding shortage that faces personal social services is not
caused by the need to support people for the few weeks after they
leave hospital, but by the need to fund the preventive services
that prevent people from needing hospital in the first place,” the
evidence says

Local housing authorities and housing associations have an
important role to play in helping to prevent inappropriate hospital
admissions, claims the LGA, and housing staff have a key role in
assisting with the appropriate and timely discharge from hospital,
in organising adaptations which help people remain in their own

In addition, the underlying reasons for the growing shortage of
personal social services staff must be addressed if authorities are
to be able to deliver the services older people need to lead
independent lives, according to the LGA.

The Association of Directors of Social Services told the
committee that looking at delayed discharge in isolation is a
mistake. In its written evidence the ADSS said that history and
experience has led them to this view and that the pressures seen in
this part of the acute health system are part of the pressures
across related areas, with solutions only possible from a “whole
system approach”.

The ADSS made a number of recommendations, suggesting that the
“proper fit” between health funding and local authority funding for
social care be reconsidered urgently as a matter of short, medium
and long term financial planning.

“There is no equivalent to the NHS Plan in the social care
environment which would enable the comprehensive spending review to
create a funding environment to support joint plans,” it




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