News Story

Impact of social care underfunding is evident with the delayed discharge figures for March

May 12, 2016

NHS England have today published the delayed discharge figures for March 2016, which again show that over 30% of delayed transfer were attributable to social care, rising from 26.9% in March 2015.

Vicky McDermott, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“We see from these statistics today that more people are going into A&E and a third of delayed discharge is caused by social care not being in place. The funding crisis in social care is piling unnecessary pressure on the NHS

“Jeremy Hunt admitted this week that social care has a ‘direct operational impact’ on the NHS. 99% of NHS leaders believe that cuts in social care funding are putting increasing pressure on the NHS as a whole (1) and yesterday the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman highlighted harrowing examples of hospitals discharging patients without ensuring they have proper support.

“Despite the sector losing £4.6 billion over the last 5 years (2) and there being an estimated shortfall of between £2.8 billion and £3.5 billion (3) by the end of the parliament, Hunt said ‘imaginative thinking’ was needed to plug the gap yet these figures today are a reminder that it is money not just thinking that is needed.”

Note to Editors

  • Age UK estimates that almost 3 million hospital bed days have been lost between June 2010 and January 2016 (Laing, W: Care of Older People, UK Market Report 2014/15, Laing Buisson (2015) and Mickelborough, P: Domiciliary Care, UK Market Report 2013, Laing and Buisson (2013).

NHS England figures show that more than a million hospital days were lost due to delayed discharges in 2015. In 2012-13, more than a million people were readmitted to hospital as an emergency within 30 days of discharge. This costed the NHS  £2.4 billion (

The Care and Support Alliance represents more than 80 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care

Media Contact: Warren Kirwan, Senior Press Officer, Scope, T: 020 7619 7200