Urgent action needed to fix social care crisis and ease knock-on effects on NHS

04 August 2022

Responding to a new Association of Directors of Adult Social Services survey showing growing waiting lists for care assessments, the director of policy and strategy and interim deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said:

"This is yet another disturbing report highlighting the worrying state of social care and the urgent need to properly fund and reform the sector.

"The growing number of people waiting, many for more than six months, to have their needs assessed is just unacceptable.

"Long delays to assessments not only mean hold-ups to people getting the care they need, but add to the knock-on effects of wider pressures in social care on the flow of patients through the NHS.

"We need to be able to help people stay well and live independent lives in the community which would in many cases prevent, or delay, the need for hospital care. But chronic staff shortages, and a lack of capacity and sustainable funding, in social care also stops people being discharged from hospitals as soon as they could be to recover closer to home – adding to pressure on NHS beds and leaving ambulances queuing up outside A&E departments waiting to bring in more patients.

"Unless social care is adequately funded, staffed and supported to meet growing demand then it will continue to struggle, particularly with home care, and patients will suffer."