Social care needs to be more of a priority

According to research by Age UK, more than 2,500 elderly patients are kept in hospital unnecessarily as they had nowhere safe to go – and it’s costing the NHS around £587 million.

The comprehensive research by the charity analysed data held by the NHS, called Delayed Transfers of Care (DTOC). This is when people are medically fit to leave hospital, yet they have to stay because they were either "awaiting residential home placement or availability", "awaiting nursing home placement or availability" and/or "awaiting care package in their own home".

This what’s known as “bed blocking”, which Age UK claims cost the NHS around £587 million between June 2017 and December 2019, affecting 2,750 people.

It’s not just the cost that is eye-wateringly high, but there is the human cost to consider too. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said that human cost is “arguably even greater, with many older people finding this means their recovery and rehabilitation is seriously delayed or in the worst cases put out of reach altogether.”

During the last election campaign, Labour accused the Conservative Party of doing nothing to help the “care crisis”, instead leaving the NHS to pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, the Conservatives pledged an extra £1bn per year for social care in England over the next five years.

Under current law, people are eligible for help with the cost of home or residential care if they have assets worth less than £23,250.

If you would like some information about how to safely plan for your future, as well as that of your family, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

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