Fund to fast-track ‘bed blocking patients’, report advises

According to think tank ResPublica, the government should provide a £3 billion ‘Fast Track Discharge Fund’ to tackle bed blocking in hospitals.

The report, Care after Cure, argues that the fund could be used to help fast track frail and elderly ‘bed blocking’ patients from hospitals to residential care facilities. The report recommends that the initiative be extended over five years and can be funded through existing NHS budgets.

The money would be used to pay for residential care beds to accommodate patients with no medical need to be in hospital and invest in training up more carers to work in the residential sector.

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the Health Select Committee, said: “This report from ResPublica provides compelling evidence that social care cannot be seen in isolation from the NHS.

“There is an urgent need to improve access to social care and to address the delayed transfers of care and this can no longer be side-lined by policy makers.”