There has been a dramatic increase in the number of delayed discharges from hospitals in a further sign that the NHS is going backwards.
Nationally, the number of delayed days per month has almost doubled under this Government – from 55,332 in August 2010 to 103,776 in January 2015. In Rotherham the number of wasted bed days has increased by 943 per cent.
Over the past year there have been more than a million delayed days, costing almost £287 million – enough to pay for 6,875 nurses or a year of home visits for more than 41,000 older and disabled people. Last month alone almost 3,600 patients were delayed in being discharged from hospitals, costing the NHS more than £28.5 million. In the past month in Rotherham, delayed discharges meant that 365 bed days were wasted, as many elderly people were left stuck in hospital.
This Government’s plan for the NHS is failing. These terrible figures show the scale of the care crisis that is affecting the most vulnerable people.
Many elderly people are finding themselves stuck in hospital as they wait for the support they need to move back home, or for a place in a residential or nursing home - accounting for 40 per cent of all delays. This could be avoided if they had the right care and support in the community or at home.
This Government has slashed social care, which is bad for elderly people and their families, and costs the taxpayer far more. We need to join up health and social care to help more elderly people stay healthy and living independently in their own homes.