London has not been spared the winter pressures facing the rest of the country and there is still a great deal to be done in improving health and social care in the capital, a London councillor has stressed.
Writing in the Municipal Journal, councillor Ray Puddifoot, London Councils’ executive member for health care, said the city’s health and care system performs “relatively well” at organising prompt adult social care packages and minimising delayed discharges from hospital.
However, every year, London sees a seasonal spike in levels of demand, particulary around mid-January.
“While this winter has not yet seen any major flu outbreaks or extreme weather, services across London are still extremely busy,” he said.
“And although media attention tends to focus on hospital A&E performance, the adult social care services run by London’s boroughs – which are such a crucial part of health and care provision – are also under increased strain.”
With the number of people requiring adult social care continually increasing – 10% of London’s adult population will have care needs by 2030 – it can be a challenge to arrange social care in a timely fashion for those leaving hospital, according to Mr Puddifoot.
“But it’s a challenge London has been getting to grips with through effective planning and partnerships,” he added.
“We’ve seen adult social care services across the capital proactively focus on prevention and working hard to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions in the first place,” he explained.
“Measures such as heavily promoting the flu jab, liaising closely with colleagues in local health services, and sharing information on care placement vacancies are helping keep people out of hospital and avoiding delayed transfers of care when hospital patients are ready to leave.”