ADASS Responds to hospital discharge announcement

Responding to an announcement by the Government that care homes and other settings will be used to “free up hospital beds”, Sarah McClinton, ADASS President, and Sheila Norris, ADASS Chief Executive said: 

“We welcome additional funding, but it comes very late.

ADASS has been warning since July that we need funding early to have an impact on pressures this winter. The distribution of funding must be urgent and able to be used flexibly to meet local needs, in recognition of the fact that this new approach will see the NHS competing with some councils in local care markets. 

The best place for most people leaving hospital is their own home – with the appropriate support in the community that they need to recover.

Use of the funding should be guided by the ‘home first’ principle, rather than the default being that people are discharged into care homes. Otherwise we run the risk of people being inappropriately placed and then remaining in residential provision indefinitely. Legally, and morally, it is right that they have a choice about where they live.

ADASS survey findings underline the need to focus equally on investment in home and community-based support, the social care workforce and support for family carers, not just care homes. People are deteriorating in the community and falling into crisis because of lack of community support

We must recognise that long-term, sustainable investment is needed in primary and community based care and support and for family carers. We must stop thinking that pots of crisis funding are the solution. We want to enable people to remain independent and healthy in their own homes for as long as possible and to recover there after a spell in hospital.”