NHS paying private firms millions to beat bed blocking after social care cuts : Mirror

A report shows how the NHS is having to shift more patients to private hospitals and private care homes.

NHS hospitals are paying private companies tens of millions to help tackle the bed blocking crisis.

The problem – when patients are fit to leave hospital but cannot be discharged – is being blamed on massive Government cuts to social care.

A report shows how the NHS is having to shift more patients to private hospitals and private care homes to reduce the delayed discharges and free up beds.

The NHS Partners Network document talks of a private hospital ringfencing beds for patients from an NHS hospital.

The report says: “What began as an emergency arrangement is being developed into a more permanent option.”

It adds there has been a 110% rise in patients waiting for a care package at a nursing home since 2010. Sources say the NHS bill from private firms to relieve the burden of delayed discharges is tens of millions a year.

The Government says it has ploughed record levels of funding into the NHS.

The Department of Health said: “We’re investing £2billion in social care to ensure those in old age get the dignified care they deserve.” But Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the Mirror’s revelations show “Theresa May’s utter failure to get a grip on the ongoing crisis facing our health and care system”.

He added: “Shifting the burden on to the private sector at extortionate cost is not in the long-term interest of NHS finances or patient welfare.”

READ MORE : MIRROR

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