Age UK estimates that almost three million (2,998,273) hospital bed days have been lost over the past five years because older people are having their discharge from hospital delayed due to a social care provision.
An extensive research report by the charity reveals that between 2014 and 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 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.
Age UK says there has been:
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)