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9 Mar

NHS to provide funding for extra beds

by Jordan Garnett
 

Everyday thousands of elderly patients are unable to leave due to a lack of care available in the community. A solution for this has risen, see what you think…

A recent debate has come around regarding the NHS to fund for Care Homes to give beds to elderly patients who have been in hospital for a substantial amount of time in a result of a lack of care available for the vulnerable patients when they leave the hospital. Therefore, the NHS are keeping these patients in their beds which is also resulting in newly arrived patients to be on trolleys in the hospital corridors.

This new campaign has been classed as a ‘win-win’ by the Government as it will be freeing up hospital beds while bringing ‘vital investment’ to the care sector. It seems to be almost unbelievable that the change hasn’t been discussed or arranged earlier as no serious issues have been brought to light.

Overall in the NHS in England, 4 300 patients are stuck in hospital because of discharging issues. This is taking up what looks like the small percentage of 4% of general hospital beds, yet when you take into consideration the 4% of newly arrived patients that could be given a proper hospital bed when they are most in need, it puts into perspective how this arrangement should be escalated to begin as quickly as possible.

If these underlying issues continue the way they are, the number of patients stuck in hospitals could increase by 1 000 in the short time of 5 years. If the changes were to be made, the NHS would benefit just as much as the patients as they would save themselves a grand total of £3.3bn by preventing the costs of having to increase hospital space and provide more hospital beds. Whereas, the more appropriate way to spend £3.3bn would be to cover the cost of the following: all patients suffering delay, Care Home staff and the facilities needed in the Care Home to attend to specific needs of the patients.

If these changes were to take place, the patients that would be moved into the funded Care Homes would receive temporary 24-hour round the clock care from the staff at the Care Home. This would be until a more permanent provision of care can be arranged.

ResPublica director, Phillip Blond, said that “the bed blocking crisis in the NHS is only getting worse… leaving newly arrived patients on trolleys in hospital corridors”. The term crisis is vaguely used yet it gives an insight of the severity of the issue and the lack of attention this has been given in the past as it is ‘only getting worse’. In other words, we need to cure this problem before it’s too late. Furthermore, we all know that prevention is better than cure so therefore the question “why are we only thinking about acting now?” is being raised in many people’s minds.

The extra money from this project will help Care Homes stay afloat in comparison to last years’ threats of potentially losing around 37 000 beds which could be lost due to the minute percentage of fees paid by the council. If this new arrangement were to take place and the health and care sectors “worked better together” it would be aided by Better Care Fund.

Better Care Fund was launched last year it was announced by Government in June 2013. The purpose of the fund is to ensure a transformation in integrated health and social care. The trust has been labelled as one of the most ambitious programmes across the NHS and the local government.

The idea is that Better Care Fund creates a single pooled budget to focus specifically on the NHS and government to work more closely together placing their well-being as the focus of health and care services. This fund involves an astounding £5.3bn annual pot to be pooled within these sectors.

It seems almost bizarre that we, as a country, are not already undergoing these procedures to help those who are in need of the support that is quite clearly available to be provided to these patients who are trapped in a world in which they have no vision of escape for the foreseeable.