Nothing to do with care at home”, everything to do with austerity cuts. AND much more opportunity for private companies to make big profits from home care instead of NHS costs in hospitals.
“Councils have been told to reduce hospital bed-blocking by up to 70% by next month or face funding cuts.
The warning came in a letter, seen by The Sunday Times, sent to council and NHS chief executives by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department of Health last month.
The letter sets out the “expectations” it has for local authorities to reduce delays in discharging people from hospital, with some councils facing demands to cut bed-blocking by up to 70%.
Councils that do not do enough to help NHS patients go home could have their share of a £2bn social care fund withheld.
Of the 152 councils with social care responsibility, 42 are required to reduce bed-blocking by 60% or more, based on their performance in February. Reading borough council has been given the highest target of a 70% reduction.
More than two-thirds are expected to reduce bed-blocking attributable to social care by 50% or more.
The letter accompanying the targets said progress would be assessed in November and 2018-19 allocations of the £2bn fund could be reviewed.
This could see poorly performing councils lose out on anticipated funding.
Last night, Izzi Seccombe, a Tory council leader who speaks on community wellbeing for the Local Government Association, said setting “unrealistic and unachievable targets” for councils to cut bed-blocking was “counterproductive.”
“The threat of reviewing councils’ funding allocations for social care . . . could leave many councils facing the absurd situation of failing to meet an unattainable target, losing their funding and, on top of this, potentially being fined by hospitals.”
Last month The Sunday Times revealed that the NHS had fined at least 22 councils for causing delays in discharging patients and threatened 11 others with charges.
A DCLG spokesman said: “No one should stay in hospital longer than necessary. It puts unneeded pressure on our hospitals and wastes taxpayers’ money.”
Source: Sunday Times (pay wall)