Urgent action is required to tackle a care home crisis in Wales, an industry lobbyist has said.
Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, told BBC Good Morning Wales the care home sector faces a “triple whammy”.
Mr Kreft said: “Currently we feel the system isn’t working.
“The figures are not adding up. We have seen over the last few winters huge pressures on the NHS – that’s no criticism on anybody, it’s simply a matter of fact.
“We have seen huge queues here in Wrexham, across north Wales, across south Wales, of people waiting to be discharged [from hospital].
“What we’re saying is, without the 12,000 nursing beds, without the 12,000 residential care beds, without all of the domiciliary care providers who enable people to remain in their own homes where would we be?
“The system has to be considered as a system of national strategic importance.”
According to Public Health Wales data, the number of people aged 85 or over will reach 184,000 by 2036, up by 145% since 2011.
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “Our inspectors and the people who receive care tell us that most care is good, with dedicated carers providing skilled and high-quality services.”
There were “undoubtedly challenges facing the sector”, he said, but added the Welsh Government was “investing in both our health and social care services”.
“Our focus over the next five years will be to complete the biggest transformation of care in Wales for generations by successfully implementing the major pieces of social care legislation that were passed during the previous assembly,” the spokesman added.
The Welsh Government highlighted the most recent chief inspector’s report which showed more than 84% of adult care home had raised no concerns this year.
The industry concern comes after the SNP came under attack for its record on providing care homes (see Figures reveal care home crisis in Scotland).