Age UK reports that elderly are
25th June 2015
Warnings by Age UK suggest that older patients are getting stuck in hospital, which has become a waste of NHS resources, as well as significantly costing taxpayers. This has happened because there is a crisis in social care, which means that there is a lack of district nurses available to help older people return home after a hospital visit.
The situation has worsened by 19 per cent on the previous year, with even more people being kept in hospital following a hospital visit. In the past five years, patients have spent a total of nearly 2.5 million days in hospital, which is not only a huge cost to tax payers, but is also bad for patients’ health.
NHS England has stated that in order to help give care and support to patients leaving hospital, extra funds would have to be allocated to councils. In order to address the current issues, a strong working joint needs to be established between community services, care homes and home care with the NHS and hospitals across the country. It is thought that there will be an extra £35 million allocated to local councils for social care this year in order to help.
Many older people are being kept waiting for care services
Research conducted by Age UK found that in data provided by NHS England from the previous financial year, 174,000 older people were waiting for a residential home place, 216,000 waiting for a nursing home place, 206,000 waiting for help from social care, and 41,400 waiting for the installation of stairlifts or ramps in their homes.
Caroline Abrahams, from Age UK, told the BBC that: “"Everyone agrees the way to go is to integrate social care and health much more effectively, but unfortunately our report shows we've got a long way to go before the reality lives up to the rhetoric." She also commented that a hospital bed costs approximately £2,000 per week, while the same amount of time in a residential home is the equivalent of just £560.
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