The Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) Cymru is the national professional and strategic leadership organisation for social services. We are a membership organisation, representing all 22 local authorities in Wales.
There are currently exceptionally high demands upon care services across the country and it is anticipated that the situation will become more difficult to manage as we move deeper into winter.
Families that are in this position are being encouraged to help support their relatives to come home from hospital for the festive period, so they don't spend more time in hospital than absolutely necessary.
President of ADSS Cymru, Jonathan Griffiths said: "We know that there are already delays in providing care services to people who require them in all parts of Wales, and we know that this could impact upon wellbeing, potentially leading to people developing increased needs for care and support.
"At the moment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to transfer people out of hospital and back home when they are medically fit and ready and waiting to leave. This is creating significant bed shortages and ambulances are having to wait at the "front door" of hospitals as a result. This means that paramedics are unable to respond as quickly as usual to other 999 calls in the community.
"Local Authorities are doing everything they can to support people to return home from hospital as swiftly as possible, which includes increasing the numbers of staff to understand what people need to safely return home. We recognise the invaluable support already provided by unpaid carers and families to their loved ones.
However, at present there isn't enough home-based care staff to meet demand, so we are also working to offer alternative forms of support wherever we can as a short-term measure. This unprecedented situation requires us to all work in partnership, and that partnership includes families of those whose loved ones are currently in hospital.
"If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home but is waiting to be discharged with home care and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position and feel confident to support them at home. Please speak to the ward or social care staff in the hospital if this something you can help with."
"We may also propose a short term stay at a residential or nursing care setting for your relatives or loved ones whilst we find the necessary home-based support. We know that this isn't always the ideal option but spending as little time in hospital is better for all of us, reducing the chances of hospital acquired infections and loss of independence. We also need to do all we can to free up hospital beds for those with urgent care needs.
"Your support will not only help your loved ones; it will also go a long way to supporting the NHS and social services," Jonathan added.