Councils have saved the NHS almost £60m by improving social care for adults outside of hospitals, according to the latest figures.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) says the number of people staying in hospital because there is no-one to look after them elsewhere has nearly halved in the last year.
It says the total of days patients had to stay at hospital despite being well enough to go home now stands at just over 40,000.
ADASS is calling for the Government to urgently bring forward a long-term funding solution for adult social care in its forthcoming green paper, and in the meantime to supply interim funding to help the sector cope with its current pressures.
Julie Ogley, vice president of ADASS, said: 'Social care enables this by providing the person-centred essential care where people need it, in our communities.
'Our dedicated workforce has done a tremendous job over the last year with limited resources, saving the NHS almost £60m by keeping people out of hospital.’
Responding to ADASS’ findings, Cllr James Jamieson, vice chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), said: ‘Councils have reduced the average number of delayed transfers of care days attributed to social care since June 2017 by 40%, despite significant budget reductions.
‘To help councils build on this work and help reduce pressures on the NHS, adult social care needs to be put on an equal footing with the health service.
‘Like the 70th birthday funding for the NHS, a similar urgent rescue package is needed for social care and prevention services to ensure taxpayers’ money is spent most effectively to reduce the need for people to be admitted to hospital in the first place.’