Apology needed for fines plan

Local authorities have demanded an apology from the government for
plans to impose fines for delayed discharge problems.

Alison King, chairperson of the Local Government Association’s
social affairs and health executive, described as a “spectacular
own goal” the plan to fine councils if an older person is ready for
discharge from hospital but no placement or support is available in
the community.

“The sooner the government owns up to this whopping mistake the
better for all of us,” King said, adding that it would be a good
example to set for a service constantly reminded how important it
is to own up and say sorry when mistakes are made.

King said social services were lagging far behind the health sector
in resources and were set to spend £1bn above the standard
spending assessment.

“The demands on us need to be matched by resourcing,” she told the
conference. “Taking more money out of the system, or blaming one
part of the system, will hardly help.”

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