Council chiefs slam bed-blocking fines

Proposals to introduce fines to tackle the problem of bed-blocking
have met with widespread condemnation in submissions to the
government made before the consultation period closed last

Health secretary Alan Milburn’s August consultation paper proposed
that councils use extra resources promised in the budget to ensure
that older people are able to leave hospital when their treatment
ends, or face penalties for blocking hospital beds.

The Local Government Association has attacked the plans as “costly,
unworkable and based on a flawed analysis of the real

LGA chairperson Jeremy Beecham said: “Local councils have been
working successfully with health bodies in their local communities,
not only to tackle delays in discharges but also to prevent
unnecessary admission to hospital and promote independence for
older people.”

Meanwhile, Carers UK believes the plans could exacerbate problems
of carers often not being consulted before patients are

Chief executive of the charity, Diana Whitworth said: “Our fear is
that local authorities will be under enormous pressure to get
things in place for a patient going home.”

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