Urgent need to boost social care to tackle pressure of 'delayed discharges' on NHS beds

17 April 2024

Figures from Liberal Democrats show that up to one in three hospital beds in England are taken up by 'delayed discharge' patients.

Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive, NHS Providers, said:

"Thousands of hospital beds are taken up every day by patients stuck in hospital when they don't need to be, often because of the strain on overstretched social care and community services.

"Persistent delays discharging patients who are fit enough to continue recovery at or close to home adds to the growing pressure right across the health and care system. The knock-on effects on people, accident and emergency departments and ambulances waiting to hand over patients are huge.

"Long overdue reform and adequate, sustainable funding of social care is needed urgently if we are to address the worrying number of delayed discharges."