NHS Winter Crisis, House of Commons, Wednesday 10 January 2018

Together with NHS England, local authorities and the LGA have undertaken a range of measures to improve preparedness for winter.


Key messages

  • In the 2016 to 2017 winter period there were an estimated 34,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales.
  • Together with NHS England, local authorities and the LGA have undertaken a range of measures to improve preparedness for winter, including improving take up of flu vaccinations among health and care workers, sharing emerging best practice, carrying out analyses of current activity in local systems and mapping out bed availability among care providers in areas where there are currently delays.
  • Local authorities remain committed to supporting people to be discharged from hospital safely and effectively. We are committed to supporting councils to prevent people from going into hospital in the first place, as well as improving performance on delayed transfers of care (DTOCs), with a range of practical support offers either already available or underway for challenges systems.
  • The Government’s DTOC reduction expectations are undeliverable for many as they do not take account of demographic and financial pressures facing councils. We urge the Government to bear in mind that DTOCs are a symptom, not the cause, of the pressures on the NHS and in many cases solutions will lie in investment in prevention, primary care, community services and hospital avoidance schemes. This is also a point made by the CQC in their interim report on the ‘local area reviews’ of the health and care systems.
  • The commissioning and provision of adult social care and support is a vital council service that cares for and supports people year round, throughout their lives whether in care homes or in their communities which can help to transform those people’s quality of life.
  • There cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system. Adequately funding social care will deliver benefits for local communities and savings for the public purse. For example, funding an expansion in social care capacity would alleviate NHS pressures and therefore enable more people to be discharged quickly and safely from hospital.
  • Given the ongoing social care pressures that local authorities face, it is particularly disappointing that the Government made no further funding available, in the Autumn Budget or the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement, to adult social care which faces a £2.3 billion gap by 2020.

Download the full briefing 
NHS Winter Crisis, House of Commons, Wednesday 10 January 2018