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Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body of independent providers of adult social care in England, has today welcomed the publication of the King’s Fund report, Hospital discharge funds: experience in winter 2022-23.

The report is based on interviews with commissioners and service providers examining the use of additional government funds in winter 2022–23.

The report includes a number of findings, including that the short notice of funding, and the short timeframe within which funds had to be spent, which significantly constrained local plans and hampered outcomes.

Recommendations in the report include the suggestion that one-off, ring-fenced funding from government to reduce delayed discharges should be used on an exceptional basis, rather than the pattern of ‘recurring non-recurrent’ funding of recent years. Work must also be done in local health and care partnerships to prioritise the development of shared understanding.

The report concludes with the recommendation that the Department of Health and Social Care should review and improve the way it monitors future funding, involving the national representative bodies for local health and care partners in that process.

In response to the report, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England said:

“Delayed discharges from hospital remain one of the biggest problems facing our country. This problem is not new. There has been little improvement over the last decade in overcoming this issue. The adult social care sector has called for long-term, transparent funding, joint strategy planning and shared learning time and time again. It is incumbent not just on systems to build strong relationships across health and care, but also on central government to provide a funding strategy to allow for long-term planning and facilitate the strengthening of partnerships locally and nationally.”