Figures from Age UK, based on analysis of government statistics, show that elderly hospital patients face increasing delays for social care help before they can be discharged.
Hospital patients awaiting discharge typically wait for more than 30 days on average for a care home placement; this is 13% longer than three years ago. Patients who require social care packages at home have to wait 27 days on average; this figure also represents a 13% increase to the delay measured three years previously. Waiting in hospital wastes NHS resources and often results in poor outcomes.
Care Minister Normal Lamb has promised reform to bring about integrated care at scale and pace. A series of projects are to launch in late Summer 2013 which will explore pooling of budgets, speeding-up of discharge from hospitals and the streamlining of care assessments. This is a joint commitment shared by the Department of Health, NHS England and the Local Government Association. The process might take five years.
Read more: BBC News: Pledge to close health and care gap.
Triggle, N. (2013). Pledge to close health and care gap. London: BBC Health News, May 14th 2013.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 7, May 2013].