BETTER social care and especially more domiciliary care is the biggest single step needed to improve ambulance services and create capacity at hospitals in Shropshire.

This is the view of Ludlow Town councillor Darren Childs, who is campaigning for better ambulance services.

He says that the ambulance delay problems are at the tip of an iceberg

A major issue is that people who could be at home, if adequate care was available, are taking up beds in hospitals.

“The link in the chain that could make the most difference for the least cost and at the greatest speed is almost certainly social care, with greater availability of domiciliary care packages freeing up acute hospital beds and enabling improved ‘flow’ across the system,” said Mr Childs.

He is calling for funding to make possible a cohort of staff who could be used flexibly to provide routine healthcare and social care to patients being discharged from hospital, filling the gaps until longer-term arrangements can be put in place.

Mr Childs say that another essential part of the jigsaw is making sure that people who deliver social care are paid well enough to improve staff retention.

“There would of course be a cost, but considerably less than the health and social care system incurs now through failing to achieve timely discharge of patients from hospital,” Mr Childs said.

The campaigner says that if cost is the issue, and he believes that it will be, the members of parliament in Shropshire should take the case for additional funding to central Government.