Care ‘could fuel NHS bed-blocking’

The NHS faces a “bed-blocking” crisis which could see half of wards being flooded with elderly people who should be in care homes, a report warns.

Figures estimate that if social care budgets are not ring-fenced, 81,000 care home beds will be lost over the next decade, leaving vulnerable people nowhere to go but hospital.

The pressure on the health service will be further compounded by the rapidly ageing population that will see an additional 18,000 older people needing care, the study warns.

This will leave 100,000 of the 170,000 NHS beds taken up by the elderly residents who should be in residential care, restricting the places to those who need them, according to the report by Bupa, the health insurance and care provider.

The study, entitled Who Cares? Funding Adult Social Care Over the Next Decade, urges the Government to ring-fence the £2 billion earmarked for adult social care so that councils do not use it to plug holes in other budgets. It also calls for councils to take into account care home inflation when setting budgets.

read in full here

Telegraph  – Intolerable bed blocking

Mirror   – Care ‘could fuel NHS bed-blocking

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