Council cuts contributing to bed-blocking, GMB claims

Severe cuts to councils’ social services provision is the major contributing factor to bed-blocking, according to the GMB Union.

A new study from the Union has found that bed-blocking is up by 32 per cent since 2011/12.

In 2015/16, patients in England were kept in hospital a total of 1,809,883 days due to delays in providing alternative care, representing and increase of 436,491 days from 2011/12.

Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary for Public Services, said: "Bed-blocking, which is a millstone around the neck of the NHS, has got considerably worse since the Tories took control of the nation’s finances.

“Bed-blocking is now a problem made in Downing Street and the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are wholly responsible for it.

“The severe cuts in local authorities’ social services provision is the major contributory factor for bed-blocking getting worse.

Azam added: “Councils have had to shunt the problem to the NHS. Councils have not been able to accept the patients from the NHS because they have been starved of funds.”