Labour Research March 2016


NHS bed-blocking

Cuts to council funding are the major contributory factor for bed-blocking in the NHS, says a report by the GMB general union. The findings show that the number of days lost to bed-blocking increased by 26% in English hospitals between 2015 and 2011.

There were a variety of reasons delaying the discharge of patients from hospitals in 2015, but these were often to do with sorting out a place in a care home (28%), delays in arranging further NHS care (19%) and sorting out care at a patient’s home (19%).

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer, described bed-blocking as a millstone around the neck of the NHS. And he said that the problem “has got considerably worse since the Tories took control of the nation’s finances”.

He 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.”