Government plans to reduce pressure on the NHS by treating people in the community are failing, according to the National Audit Office.

Analysing progress in England after local authorities received an injection of £5.3bn in the form of the Better Care Fund, it found hospital workload has not gone down.

However, the fund has helped join up health and social care.

The Department of Health has defended the fund, saying it was too soon to judge its efficacy.

The NAO asserts that the number of hospital admissions has not gone down but up and the number of people stuck in hospital because they do not have a sufficient homecare package has also risen.

It was predicted the amount of delayed transfer cases would drop by 293,000- it rose by 185,000.

Emergency hospital admissions have gone up by 887,000 instead of the estimated cut of 106,000.

Head of the National Audit Office, Sir Amyas Morse, said: "Integrating the health and social care sectors is a significant challenge in normal times, let alone times when both sectors are under such severe pressure. So far, the benefits have fallen far short of plans, despite much effort."

A spokesman for NHS England said: "Joining up local NHS and council services may be worthwhile, but it is not by itself a silver-bullet solution to wider pressures on health and social care."