Minister withdraws East Sussex claims

Community care minister Stephen Ladyman has backed down over
comments that East Sussex Council will lose out over the delayed
discharge fining system.

The council has spent less than one-third of its £526,000
delayed discharge government grant this year and exceeded its
target for reducing the number of delays in discharging older
people from hospital by nearly 50 per cent.

In a BBC interview in February, Ladyman predicted that based on its
previous performance the council would spend its whole grant by the
end of March, three months into the start of the fining system
(news, page 7, 19 February).

Following complaints from the council, Ladyman has written to it
acknowledging its recent improvements and commitment to work with
health trusts to reduce delayed discharge further.

An East Sussex spokesperson said: “The predictions that were made
in the broadcast were not realised. As we predicted at the time, we
have actually spent only a small proportion of the grant given to
us to meet delayed discharge fines.”

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