Ministers have approved an emergency injection of £25m for social care for older people in areas where hospitals are facing the biggest problems of delayed patient discharges. The announcement was made on 20 January.
The CSA welcomes the recognition that there is a connection between underfunding of social care and the current crisis in A&E. However, what is needed is a planned and sustained investment to ensure those with social care needs receive support in the community, keeping them away from expensive hospital care.
Those who need support but are not eligible will inevitably reach out to the NHS. This, combined with people unable to return home after hospital treatment because of the lack of support in the community, puts unnecessary pressure on the NHS.
This injection of funding will help get services through this winter. What needs to happen next is a more sustainable solution which will avoid us finding A&E in the same situation next year.