The LGA has restated its opposition to the delayed discharges bill, and will continue to press for a whole systems approach to tackling delayed discharges, following Alan Milburn's announcement to transfer£100m to the social services budget. This is clearly in response to growing opposition to what we consider to be a fundamentally flawed and unworkable bill.
'All parties in the LGA are fundamentally opposed to the proposals set out in this bill. We believe that the principle of imposing a system of fines on local councils to tackle the complex issue of delayed discharges of older people from hospital is wrong. Clearly cash strapped councils will use the£100m to tackle delayed discharges, but if they are fined some or all of that money will be transferred back to the Department of Health. The system could become a costly, bureaucratic nightmare. We want to see the government introducing further incentives across the whole of the system involved in providing services for older people.
'It is clear from this move that Mr Milburn is obviously having second thoughts about his Bill. If he truly does not want to punish local authorities, why does he not just simply scrap this ill thought out proposal. This£100m does little to help fund the already huge gap in local authorities social services budgets.'
See also AN EXTRA£100M FOR SOCIAL SERVICES TO TACKLE DELAYED DISCHARGEon LGCnet.