Age UK published the alarming figures , Wednesday 16 March, the day the Chancellor announces his Budget.
The findings reveal that between just two years (Jan-Dec 2014 and Jan-Dec 2015), there has been a 28.4% increase in the number of hospital days lost due to a lack of social care provision available for people being discharged from hospital.
This increase came in the first year of the Better Care Fund (from April) when it was hoped that pooled funding would reduce delayed discharges.
Cuts to community health and care services
Cuts to community health and social care services have meant the NHS has wasted bed-days while patients wait for the right care and support in the right place to become available.
Looking deeper into the issue, there has been a:
- 59.8% increase in bed days lost awaiting a care package at home since 2014 (Jan-Dec 2014: 181,755 days /Jan-Dec 2015: 290,521 bed days lost)
- 13.8% increase in bed days lost awaiting a nursing home placement or availability since 2014 (Jan – Dec 2014: 203,696 days /Jan-Dec 2015: 231,880 days)
- 9.2% increase in bed days lost awaiting a residential home placement or availability since 2014 (Jan-Dec 2014: 167,685 days /Jan-Dec 2015: 183,114 bed days lost)
Age UK’s accompanying report: Behind the Headlines, explores the complexities around hospital discharge and looks at the horrible situations often facing older people and their families when it is clear they need follow-up support but none is available.