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Solving the integrated health and social care problem

The Government’s enhanced Better Care Fund, designed to improve health and social care, won’t be available for at least two years. The British Red Cross says these funds are needed now, to support the older people who are currently stranded in hospital due to the gap in care provision.

A delayed discharge occurs when a patient, medically fit to go home, cannot leave hospital because the other necessary care or support is not available for them.

Mike Adamson, Chief Executive of the British Red Cross, said: “The Government must ensure that older people are discharged from hospital in a safe, supported and timely way. Putting these already earmarked funds to use now, rather than later, would enable local health and social care providers to invest in cost-effective services. It would ensure that older people are discharged from hospital with dignity.”

In evidence submitted to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry on 6th June discharging older people from acute hospitals, the British Red Cross stressed that this issue, often referred to as ‘bed-blocking’, is almost never the fault of the patient. The delays are primarily caused by pressure on health services and a lack of investment in care services for adults.

In addition further evidence submitted by the British Red Cross stated that social care and prevention services are cost-effective and achieve positive outcomes for older people and their carers. It also maintains that investing in prevention services could significantly help avoid people unnecessarily going into hospital in the first place.

A different approach to Health & Social Care

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