Hospital beds are blocked due to social care problems
- 11 Jun
The charity Age UK says that pressure is growing due to budget cuts meaning expensive NHS resources are being wasted.
New research has revealed that 2 million bed days in hospitals have been wasted since 2010 due to problems in social care meaning patients are unable to be discharged. This is leaving some elderly patients are being trapped in hospital for up to thirty days whilst waiting to be transferred to a residential home, even though they're fit to leave, reports the Guardian.
An estimated total of 1,928,255 bed days have been lost to the NHS in England since 2010 which has a cost of £526m, at a time when hospitals have been under growing pressures, says Age UK.
Official publications show that the average wait face by a patient needing grab rails or ramps fitted at home has risen by 11.5% to 27.3 days whilst a social care package now takes 28.6 days to be arranged. This is 5% longer than in 2010.
A bed in an NHS hospital costs about £1,900-a-week compared with £530 typically charged by residential homes.
"This marked rise since 2010 in the length of time people are being forced to linger in hospital because of a delayed assessment, care home place, home care package or home adaptation is an outcome of the crisis in social care", said Caroline Abrahams, Age UK's charity director. "It's crazy to waste expensive NHS resources in this way."
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