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Social Care Can Help Hospital Crisis Say Providers

Social care providers are offering to meet with health trust chiefs to see if they can work together to ease serious pressures on hospitals in North Yorkshire.

The Independent Care Group (ICG) says boosting access to social care services could help the situation.

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has reported extreme pressures on Scarborough Hospital in particular.

Part of the problem is that some 20-25% of beds at the hospital were being occupied by people who could be discharged.

ICG Chief Executive John Pattinson said: “A lack of social care packages available in the community will be playing its part in those delayed discharge figures and that needs to be addressed to help get the hospital back functioning as it should.

“We would welcome discussions with the health trust and would like to see a simplification of the system to enable hospital patients to move more quickly from hospital beds to care out in the community.

“Constructive dialogue could enable us to work towards creating a better model whereby there is a more rapid transfer from hospital to community care, freeing up hospital beds.”

Across the country, around 14,000 people can’t be discharged from hospital each week, largely due to a lack of social care because that sector is going through a crisis.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham added:

“The ongoing funding crisis in social care in England is leading to a shortage, particularly of homecare and of some care beds.

“This is being reflected locally and needs to be addressed both with the local health trust and the Government. I am fearful that we are sleepwalking into the creation of social care deserts.

“It is therefore vital that during this period of intense pressure for both local hospitals and local care providers, we all work together to find practical, sustainable solutions.”


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