£1m emer­gency fund ‘falls short’ of what’s needed

Rochdale Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Ste­fan.jajecnyk@men­media.co.uk @sja­jec­nykMEN

ROCHDALE coun­cil is to re­ceive a £1.1m emer­gency fund­ing boost for adult so­cial care over the tough win­ter pe­riod – though the coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for health says the fig­ure ‘falls short’ of what is needed.

The funds, which have come from cen­tral gov­ern­ment, will be used to help free up hospi­tal beds dur­ing the colder months as de­mand in­creases.

On an aver­age day at the Pen­nine Acute Hos­pi­tals NHS Trust, an aver­age of 37 beds per day are oc­cu­pied by pa­tients who no longer need to stay in hospi­tal, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from NHS Eng­land.

The mea­sure, which, comes as part of a wider gov­ern­ment cash in­jec­tion of £240m na­tion­ally, was an­nounced by Matt Han­cock, Sec­re­tary of State for Health and So­cial Care, dur­ing a speech at the Con­ser­va­tive Party con­fer­ence ear­lier this month. He said: “We will use this money to get peo­ple who don’t need to be in hospi­tal, but do need care, back home, back into their com­mu­ni­ties, so we can free up those vi­tal hospi­tal beds, and help peo­ple who re­ally need it get the hospi­tal care they need.”

A ‘de­layed trans­fer of care’ oc­curs when a pa­tient re­mains in a bed af­ter be­ing of­fi­cially de­clared ready for trans­fer.

Pa­tients must be safe to trans­fer and signed off by both a doc­tor and a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team, which could in­clude so­cial or men­tal heath care work­ers, be­fore they are clas­si­fied in this way.

Rochdale coun­cil­lor Iftikhar Ahmed, cab­i­net mem­ber for adult care, has been a long-stand­ing cam­paigner for ex­tra so­cial care fund­ing.

While he has wel­comed the re­cent cash boost as a step in the right di­rec­tion, he says that the fund­ing ‘falls short’ of the level needed to ad­dress hospi­tal ca­pac­ity is­sues in the long-term.

He said: “Any ex­tra cash is to be wel­comed and I am pleased the gov­ern­ment is lis­ten­ing to coun­cils like Rochdale but this falls short of what is needed to ad­dress the na­tional so­cial care fund­ing cri­sis. The gov­ern­ment can­not keep ask­ing coun­cils to con­tin­u­ally do more with less.

“We need long-term cer­tainty, not short-term an­nounce­ments, and next week’s bud­get is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the gov­ern­ment to pro­vide a last­ing fund­ing so­lu­tion for so­cial care.

“It’s a step in the right di­rec­tion, but we now need real ac­tion not just warm words.”

‘It’s a step in the right di­rec­tion but we need real ac­tion, not just warm words’

●●Coun­cil­lor Iftikhar Ahmed

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.