Whilst our local Conservative MP highlights the long overdue enhancements to local NHS services, new research has revealed the impact of the social care crisis on the NHS across North West Hampshire, with medically fit patients left stuck in hospital beds waiting for care. The figures reveal that 1,283 bed days were lost to delayed discharges from hospital in May alone. Of these, the majority of bed days lost involved patients who had been stuck in hospital for three weeks or more, often due to a lack of social care.

Across the country, the NHS lost over 128,800 bed days to delayed discharges from hospital, up 32 per cent on the same period last year. Yes, that is the equivalent of a town two and a half the size of Andover in one month alone.

The Government’s failure to tackle the social care crisis is having a “disastrous” impact on local NHS services, piling pressure on hospitals while elderly and vulnerable patients are left waiting for the care they need. We should introduce a Carer’s Minimum Wage, preferably set at least £2 above the minimum wage, to help address the huge number of job vacancies in social care. It may also encourage those looking for a career to consider caring.

These worrying figures show the disastrous impact the social care crisis is having on our local health services. Far too many elderly and vulnerable people are ending up stuck in hospital when they are ready to leave, because there simply is not the care available for them at home or in the community. This is causing unneeded pain and distress while piling even more pressure on our already overstretched hospitals,

Everyone less the dithering Tory government knows that you cannot fix the crisis in the NHS without fixing the crisis in social care. We want to see the Government start valuing carers properly by bringing in a Carer’s Minimum Wage. This would help reduce soaring vacancies in social care and tackle the crisis facing the NHS.

Cllr Luigi Gregori

Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for NWHants

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