Is this why there is a dangerous rush to close community hospital beds?

Nothing to do with care at home”, everything to do with austerity cuts. AND much more opportunity for private companies to make big profits from home care instead of NHS costs in hospitals.

“Councils have been told to reduce hospital bed-blocking by up to 70% by next month or face funding cuts.

The warning came in a letter, seen by The Sunday Times, sent to council and NHS chief executives by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department of Health last month.

The letter sets out the “expectations” it has for local authorities to reduce delays in discharging people from hospital, with some councils facing demands to cut bed-blocking by up to 70%.

Councils that do not do enough to help NHS patients go home could have their share of a £2bn social care fund withheld.

Of the 152 councils with social care responsibility, 42 are required to reduce bed-blocking by 60% or more, based on their performance in February. Reading borough council has been given the highest target of a 70% reduction.

More than two-thirds are expected to reduce bed-blocking attributable to social care by 50% or more.

The letter accompanying the targets said progress would be assessed in November and 2018-19 allocations of the £2bn fund could be reviewed.

This could see poorly performing councils lose out on anticipated funding.

Last night, Izzi Seccombe, a Tory council leader who speaks on community wellbeing for the Local Government Association, said setting “unrealistic and unachievable targets” for councils to cut bed-blocking was “counterproductive.”

“The threat of reviewing councils’ funding allocations for social care . . . could leave many councils facing the absurd situation of failing to meet an unattainable target, losing their funding and, on top of this, potentially being fined by hospitals.”

Last month The Sunday Times revealed that the NHS had fined at least 22 councils for causing delays in discharging patients and threatened 11 others with charges.

A DCLG spokesman said: “No one should stay in hospital longer than necessary. It puts unneeded pressure on our hospitals and wastes taxpayers’ money.”

Source: Sunday Times (pay wall)

3 thoughts on “Is this why there is a dangerous rush to close community hospital beds?

  1. Pingback: Coverage of Seaton hospital bed closures | East Devon Watch
  2. I know Internet arguments always descend to reminding everyone about World War II, but…

    The NHS was set up in the aftermath of WW II as recognition that we were all in it together and so deserved equal health care. But the current Conservatives clearly believe that this is not the case – rather than drawing us together, their policies with the NHS and Social Care (amongst many others like education) are clearly intended to divide us into haves and have-nots – indeed I find it difficult to see how they could be more divisive, though no doubt the Tories will in due course prove me wrong.

    To coin a cliché, Nye Bevan would be turning in his grave if he was alive today. He resigned from the government when it introduced prescription charges for dental care and spectacles – so can you imagine his reaction to privatisation of the NHS by stealth?


  3. We all know who is wasting taxpayers’s money? Of course it is the NHS and CCGs with their daft ideas. Keeping the community hospitals open was the most efficient and humane way of preventing bed blocking at major hospitals. I shudder to think of these poor patients being sent home to fend for themselves. Again, how do we see that this the care of the patients is monitored- we cannot rely on CCG to truthfully inform us. What a mess!


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