Bed-blocking fines mooted for Wales

A senior Welsh politician has warned that the country may have to introduce English-style fines for delayed discharge if the number of people staying in hospital too long continues to rise.

Shadow health and social services minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas made the remarks following the publication of new Welsh assembly figures that show a 5 per cent rise in September in delayed transfers of care from hospital to community settings. It is the third monthly increase (excluding mental health delays) in a row and follows two years of sustained reduction.

He blamed the rise on the failure of councils and local health boards to tackle the problem collaboratively. In his Carmarthenshire constituency, a funding disagreement between the LHB and council has caused a rise in the number of people in hospital waiting for an appropriate care package.

He said: “Councils have no incentive to do anything about it. I’d prefer creating joint accountability [with LHBs] but the only other option is to penalise councils as they have to find places for people in care homes.”

  • Figures from
  • More from Community Care

    Comments are closed.