Age UK has warned that older people are “trapped” in hospitals as there is nowhere else for them to go.
Analysis by Age UK has found that patients are spending nearly 2.5milllion days stuck in hospitals over the past five years. They say it’s not only bad for patients but also a waste of NHS resources, reports the BBC.
Age UK have said that there is a crisis in social care which ranges from a shortage of care home places to a lack of district nursers.
The charity’s analysis of NHS England data for the last financial year showed the days spent stuck in hospital included:
174,000 waiting for a residential home place
216,000 waiting for a nursing home place
206,000 waiting for help from social care workers or district nurses to get people back into their own home
41,400 waiting for ramps or stairlifts to be installed into patients’ homes.
Caroline Abrahams, from Age UK, said: “These figures show that year-on-year, older people are being trapped in hospital in ever greater numbers because of a delayed assessment, care home place, home care package or home adaptation. Without decent social care when discharged, whether to their own home or to a care home, hospital stays are often much longer than they need to be and older people are more likely to be readmitted because their recovery stalls. Everyone agrees the way to go is to integrate social care and health much more effectively, but unfortunately our report shows we’ve got a long way to go before really the reality lives up to the rhetoric. And if we can’t get it right for such an important group of people, older people stuck in hospital waiting to get out, really we have to redouble our efforts and do much better.”
An NHS England spokesperson said: “We continue to need strong joint working between hospitals, community services, care homes and home care, which is being further helped by the extra £35 million allocated to local councils for social care so patients leaving hospital get the care and support they need.”
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