DUDLEY Council chiefs say a raft of new measures have helped to reduce the number of older people needing adult social care being delayed from leaving hospital.

The authority was awarded £13.9million from the government’s Improved Better Care Fund last year to spend over three years to tackle pressing issues in health and adult social care.

In this first year, the council committed to spending £7million to introduce measures to support older people to leave hospital as soon as they are medically fit - cutting cases of delayed transfer of care.

Measures included an emergency response team - offering support to people who have gone to the hospital’s accident and emergency department in need of urgent social care support to help them return home and prevent unnecessary admission to hospital.

There is also a new community response team, which supports the ambulance service when responding to emergency calls by offering crisis support to help people stay in their own home.

The measures, plus other incentives such as new technologies, increased levels of care at home and recruitment of extra social workers to prevent inappropriate admissions to hospital, have helped reduce the number of adult social care delayed transfers of care from 437 to 182 between August and November last year (a drop of 58 per cent) – authority bosses have said.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, Dudley’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “We all know the nation’s health and adult social care services are under immense pressure.

“At a local level it’s no different for us here in Dudley and last year we welcomed the government’s investment to help us tackle the issues on our doorstep.

“While we recognise there is some way to go, these recent figures show that our bespoke package of measures, which we have introduced, has started to address some of those key issues.

“We strive to build on this progress and hope the services can only improve further from this point onwards.”