A monthly record was set in May for reductions in delayed transfers of care, contributing to an overall improvement of 33% since February 2017.
Analysis by Impower found delayed transfers fell by 7.5% between April and May, the biggest drop since February 2017, with a total of 2,190 beds now freed up in 15 months - more beds than in any acute trust in England.
Delayed transfers attributable to social care are were down in May by 9.6% on the month before to just over three days per 10,000 of the population, while delayed transfers attributable to the NHS fell by 6.5% to 6.5 days per 10,000 people. This is at a time when emergency admissions continued to rise, with a 3.5% increase in May compared to the same time last year.
The national delayed transfers rate now stands at 10.3 days, a 33% improvement on rates February 2017 which were used as a baseline for targets imposed on councils.
Since then, delays attributable to social care have fallen by 45%, compared to a 23% improvement by the NHS.
Despite these overall reductions in delayed transfer rates, performance in 38 of 150 council areas is getting worse. There are 12 areas which were above the target set in February 2017 at which performance has since deteriorated.
Impower health director Sarah Atkinson said despite significant progress on delayed transfers, “we’re playing the wrong game with the wrong rules”.
She added health and social care should be treated as “simultaneous games” rather than “separate pitches”.
“Health and social care leaders need to establish an inclusive ambition which goes beyond processing people out of the back door of hospitals,” Ms Atkinson added.