EXCLUSIVE: Anchor calls for ‘national framework’ to tackle bedblocking crisis

Anchor Board, London
Picture by Vicky Matthers iconphotomedia

Anchor CEO Jane Ashcroft CBE has called for a ‘national framework’ to tackle the NHS bed blocking crisis.

Ms Aschroft’s comments follow a recent NHS report that revealed a 23% rise in delays to hospital discharges (see NHS England reveals bed blocking crisis).

The Anchor boss told Care Home Professional: “Providers and commissioners are trying at a local level to make things work but there isn’t a national framework to enable that. How you get anything to happen at scale is the real challenge. There’s too many people holding budgets and they are failing to do what is right for the public budget overall. It’s a bust system.”

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Ms Ashcroft said Anchor has been working at a local level to integrate care with the NHS by partnering with the CCG in Birmingham.

Under the scheme, Anchor has been providing rooms for the rapid discharge from hospital of elderly people who do not need clinical care but are not able to go home.

The not for profit care provider offers around 20 rooms under the scheme.

Ms Ashcroft added: “We have tried to offer that in other parts of the country as well but fundamentally that has still to be viable so it does mean that the CCG or whoever is funding it pay about £600 a week but of course that’s saving the public purse compared with someone being in hospital. A day in hospital seems to cost about a week in a care home.”

The Anchor head said operators would have to continue to “play the hand we are dealt and come up with ways of working at a local level” until a national model is developed.

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