New figures reveals bed blocking crisis in Cumbria’s hospitals

New research published by the Liberal Democrats has revealed the impact of the social care crisis on the NHS in Cumbria, with medically fit patients left stuck in hospital beds waiting for care.

The research shows that hospitals in Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust lost 1326 bed days due to ‘delayed discharges’ from hospital in May. The majority of these lost bed days involved patients who had been stuck in hospital for three weeks or more.

‘Delayed discharges’ happen when patients considered ‘medically fit’ are unable to leave hospital, usually due to a lack of social care. Nationwide, the NHS has lost over 128,000 bed days to delayed discharges from hospital, up 32% on the same period last year.

The Liberal Democrats are warning that the government’s failure to tackle the social care is having a “disastrous” impact on local NHS services. The pressure on already stretched NHS hospitals is increasing whilst elderly and vulnerable patients are left without the care they need.

The party is calling for the introduction of a Carer’s Minimum Wage, set at £2 above the minimum wage, to help address the huge number of job vacancies in social care.

Speaking this afternoon, Tim said: “These figures are really worrying and show the disastrous impact of the social care crisis on our local NHS services.

“Far, far too many vulnerable patients are ending up stuck in hospital rather than in the comfort of their own home, with their families recovering with assistance from social care services.

“The pain and distress being caused by the crisis is completely unnecessary if only the Government would act.

“The Lib Dems know that we can’t fix our NHS without first solving the social care crisis.

“The Government must start valuing and supporting our carers properly with a new Carer’s Minimum Wage. This would help to reduce the really large number of vacancies in social care and in resolving the crises facing our NHS.”

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