NHS 'bed blocking' crisis laid bare: Up to one in THREE beds are taken up by ... trends now

NHS 'bed blocking' crisis laid bare: Up to one in THREE beds are taken up by ... trends now
NHS 'bed blocking' crisis laid bare: Up to one in THREE beds are taken up by ... trends now

NHS 'bed blocking' crisis laid bare: Up to one in THREE beds are taken up by ... trends now

The NHS is in the grip of a bed-blocking crisis with up to one in three patients well enough to be discharged but unable to leave, damning figures show.

An average of 13,662 patients a day were stuck in hospital in England in February despite being declared medically fit by doctors.

It means one in seven beds (17 per cent) nationally were filled by someone who should no longer have been there, rising to one in three (33 per cent) in the worst affected areas.

Many will have been waiting for a place in a care home or for their council to find them a carer who can help them wash, cook or dress in their own home, while others will have been waiting for prescriptions or other NHS admin to be finalised.

The bottleneck is hampering efforts to cut waiting lists as new patients cannot be admitted if there is nowhere for them to recover after surgery and clogging up A&Es as there is no free space on wards to place new arrivals.

Leading health think tank the King's Fund has calculated that it costs the NHS £395 a night to care for someone when they could be discharged, with the direct costs of delayed discharges totalling £1.9billion in 2022/23.

Patients who stay in hospital when they are ready to be discharged are also at higher risk of catching infections and of losing mobility and independence.

Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, which commissioned the House of Commons Library to analyse NHS figures, warned the 'social care crisis is turning into a national emergency'.

It found one in three available hospital beds (33 per cent) were out of action in Croydon due to

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