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Hospital Discharge Rise Is Down To Social Care Neglect

Shocking delays in hospital discharges won’t improve until the country reforms adult social care, campaigners have warned.

Reports suggest new investment in the NHS is being wasted because too many people fit enough to leave hospital cannot do so due to a lack of available social care.

It is said that delayed discharges are some 15% higher than they were before covid. Figures released earlier suggested 14,000 people were needlessly in hospital at any one time.

The social care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the situation highlights years of neglect of social care.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said:
“Effectively, the Government is throwing good money after bad. Ploughing money into the NHS but then seeing it wasted on funding people to be in hospital beds when they don’t need to be.

“When they say they are investing in making the NHS more efficient they are doing the reverse, as hospitals become less and less efficient.

“What it tells us once again is that things cannot go on as they are – we need change and we need it now.

“We have to switch resources from the NHS into social care so that we can both look after people when they are discharged – freeing up the bottlenecks – and invest more in preventative care so that people don’t end up in hospital in the first place. Money switched into social care saves money for the NHS in the long run, so it isn’t purely a case of finding billions in new investment.

“We need a General Election and to hear from the political parties what they plan to do with social care to tackle the mess the sector is in at the moment.

“How politicians plan to get care to the 1.6m who currently can’t get it, recruit 152,000 care staff to meet current demand, pay and reward the workforce properly and find the extra 440,000 staff we will need to meet growing demand by 2035.”

• In its Five Pillars for Social Care Reform document, which has been sent to all the main political party leaders, the ICG suggests ring-fencing a percentage of GDP for care, creating a National Care Service, setting a minimum carer wage, establishing a task force for reform and creating fair tariffs for services such care beds and homecare visits.

 

 
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