Tackling delayed discharge from hospital by rapidly increasing
the number of places available in residential and nursing homes is
not a solution, the health select committee claims in its report
into delayed discharge, writes Katie
Almost 30 per cent of delayed discharges happen because a person
is waiting for a care home placement, either because there is not a
suitable place for the person’s needs or because there are no
vacancies in the home of choice.
The number of residential care places for older and physically
disabled people fell by 13,100 places last year, although the
impact of the loss was softened by a decline in demand, with local
authorities trying to reduce their number of placements and the
number of residents with preserved rights to income support
decreasing all the time.
The committee believes that, while capacity may need to be
increased in areas where there is a shortage, too much effort is
being put into developing “more of the same” with insufficient
focus on providing appropriate care for individuals and developing
alternative service models.
Its report states that placing a person in a care home should
not be seen as the “easy option” just because there is a space, and
that the closure of care homes will act as a “further spur” to the
development of care at home and alternative responses.
The committee also recommends that, unless there are genuine
clinical reasons for not doing so, people who are unable to access
their first choice home should wait in “interim placement settings”
until a place becomes available.
‘Delayed Discharges’ is available by