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Waiting to go home

18 March 2016

New report from Age UK says 3 million hospital bed days have been lost due to inadequate social care provision

Inadequate social care provision cost the country over £900 million between June 2010 and January 2016, according to Age UK - and the situation is getting worse.


Older people are facing unnecessary delays in being discharged from hospital because the care package they need has not been put in place.


From 2014 to 2015 there has been a:


  • 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)


Age UK’s Charity Director, Caroline Abrahams, said: "These statistics and our accompanying report describe the slow motion car crash that occurs when you underfund the social care services that allow older people to be safely discharged from hospital - this at a time when demand for such services is constantly rising because our population is ageing.


"Older people, their families and friends, and the overstretched staff in councils and hospitals trying to keep the system going are all victims of the funding decisions that have been made. So too are the hundreds of thousands of people of all ages who have had to wait longer for hospital treatment because of the resulting shortages of available hospital beds for them."


The full "Behind The Headlines" report is available via the link below.