Mon, 27 May 2024

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Councils told to reduce NHS 'bed-blocking' or face funding cuts

John Ashmore

1 min read

Councils have been warned they face having their funding cut unless they reduce delays for discharging NHS patients in their area.

The Sunday Times reports that the Department for Health and the Communities department wrote a joint letter to local authorities last month warning that they could withhold some councils' share of a special £2bn social care fund. 

Some local authorities are being told they must reduce so-called "bed-blocking" - where patients stay in hospital despite being ready to be discharged - by as much as 70%.

Of the 152 councils who are responsible for social care, 42 have been told they need to reduce their rate by at least 60%. 

But the Tory leader of Warwickshire County Council, Izzi Secombe, warned that the move would be unhelpful to cash-strapped authorities.

"The threat of reviewing councils’ funding allocations for social care...could leave many councils facing the absurd situation of failing to meet an unattainable target, losing their funding and, on top of this, potentially being fined by hospitals," she told the paper.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "“No one should stay in hospital longer than necessary. It puts unneeded pressure on our hospitals and wastes taxpayers’ money.”

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