Adult Social Care 2017 LocalGovernmentLawyer 34 ‘Bed blocking’, ‘Delayed Discharges’ – the media is full of stories of the contributory effects of delayed transfers of care (“DToC”) on the strain and pressures the NHS is under. The call from stakeholders is to increase funding, after years of central government enforced austerity, to social care. This is in order to ensure that social care is able to respond swiftly to the need for community services and thus free up beds to keep up the flow through hospitals. Central government’s response has not, to date, been a positive one – or at least, it appears, not one of general application to all social care authorities across the country in an open and transparent manner. While the political fight goes on – what, if anything, can your social care department do to tackle the tricky issues contributing to DToC? Reasons for delay The latest NHS England figures show that, of those reasons for delay attributable to social care, tied for top, at 37% each of the delayed days for December 2016, were ‘awaiting a care package in one’s own home’ and ‘awaiting a residential or nursing care placement’. Next up was ‘awaiting completion of an assessment’ at 18% and then trailing behind was ‘patient or family choice’ (4%), ‘awaiting public funding’ (3%), ‘awaiting community equipment or adaptions’ (1%), and ‘disputes’ (