MPs told fines for delayed discharge have few supporters

Very few people involved in health and social care support the
government’s proposal to fine social services for delayed
discharges from hospital, MPs were told, writes Katie

David Hinchliffe, chairperson of the Commons’ health
select committee, which carried out an investigation into delayed
discharges last year, said that no evidence had been received from
any source – social services, health or voluntary
organisations in support of the bill’s principles.

“Not even department of health officials appeared especially
enthusiastic about it”, Hinchliffe explained.

He hoped that “even at this late stage” the government would
withdraw it. The bill was read for the third time in the House of
Commons, and will now be debated in the House of Lords.

“I cannot support the bill. It is a bad measure that has not
been thought through. It will damage the good, positive
relationships between health and social services departments that
the government have created in some areas”, he said.

Concern was raised about the short time period in which the bill
had been rushed through the House of Commons. It was covered in
just two sittings, half the amount of time expected for a bill of
its size.

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