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Tackle Social Care To End Hospital Road Block

Call for reform to lower delayed discharge figures

THE GOVERNMENT must tackle the crisis in social care to end the painful rise in delayed hospital discharges, campaigners said today.

Figures released today showed that every day more than 13,000 people are unable to leave hospital, partly because there isn’t enough care to look after them in the community.

The care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the need for reform to help tackle those delayed discharge figures was now well overdue.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said:
“The scandal of people being trapped in hospital beds is again laid bare today and it shames the country.

“We’ve been here before and these figures once again make very depressing reading.

“A huge reason for this is a lack of available care in the community due to the ongoing crisis in social care, which government after government have failed to tackle.

“There is a dreadful social impact of people being in hospital when they don’t need to be as well as a huge financial impact of people being in costly hospital beds when they should be cared for at home or in residential or nursing care.”
The information comes from the BBC’s Shared Data Unit.

The ICG says extra funding is vital for social care to stem the rising tide of provider closure and tackle the staffing crisis, both of which are reducing care provision.

“Switching funding from the NHS into social care will actually save the NHS money by tackling this delayed discharge scandal,” Mr Padgham added. “We have to find a way to properly fund social care so that its staff can be properly rewarded and we can stop the tide of carers leaving the sector and tackle the severe staffing shortages. Unless we do so, homecare provision will continue to fall and care and nursing homes will continue to close. That shortage of care provision will continue to rise, fueling more and more delayed discharges.”

CSI Market Intelligence reports that more than 1,300 care beds have gone in the first part of 2023 – with the number of beds per 1,000 people aged 75 and over falling from 91 in 2015 to just 75 now. Some 247 homes closed during 2022 and just 123 new ones opened, giving a net loss of 124 homes.

The number of care home beds stood at 488,518 at the beginning of January 2022 but by the end of the year, this had fallen to 487,485 – a loss of 1,033 care home beds.

Recent figures from the DHSC revealed that 61% of local authorities were worried about a lack of domiciliary care. Earlier this year the Homecare Association reported that vacancies in homecare staff were running at 13%, contributing to difficulties in the sector to meet rising demand for care at home services. Some 54% of homecare providers reported that they were delivering less care than in 2022.

Last month, figures from Skills for Care showed that 400,000 people left jobs in care last year. There are around 152,000 vacancies. Skills for Care says an extra 440,000 staff will be needed to keep up with care demand by 2035.














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