Care home funding key to combating NHS bed blocking

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Sustainable care home funding is key to tackling the NHS bed blocking crisis, according to a new study.

The Christie & Co report found that over a quarter of the more than 2m delayed hospital discharges were caused by people awaiting care home placements.

Michael Hodges, Head of Consultancy – Care at Christie & Co, said: “Having produced reports on these crucial issues impacting the care sector for three years in a row, the core message remains: a sustainable funding solution for social care is needed with ways to encourage more people into the nursing and care professions, including additional funding to enable the sector to remain competitive in terms of pay rates.”

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The report highlights a pending crisis in nursing recruitment indicating a 3% fall in total registered nursing numbers for 2016/17, with a 23% rise in de-registrations leading to 17,000 permanently unfilled nurse vacancies across the UK.

Christie & Co also highlights the Government’s decision to axe NHS bursaries for student nurses from 2017 and a 23% decline in students applications in England to nursing and midwifery courses at British universities.

The report highlights the challenges faced by care homes when recruiting and retaining staff with many operators reporting that they were increasingly competing with supermarkets Aldi and Lidl who were actively recruiting and offering attractive pay rates.

Christie & Co found a marginal rise in agency nurse usage of 0.6 percentage points.

 

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