Responding to the publication of NHS England’s combined monthly performance statistics for October, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, said:

'Today the NHS has reported the highest number of people waiting to be discharged from hospital since figures began in August 2010. This is symptomatic of wider pressures on the health and care system and adds to the risk of bigger problems this winter.

'Staying in hospital when it’s no longer necessary is not only distressing for patients and the people who care for them, it has a knock-on effect for the rest of the hospital and local health system. It especially impacts on patients waiting for a bed in A&E – numbers of which are at worryingly high levels.

'The average NHS trust has around 6000 bed-days lost due to delays in discharging patients, increasingly as the result of a lack of social care support. Yet social care funding has been cut for six years in a row. This isn’t just a moral issue, it is a false economy. The government needs to act urgently to boost funding in this area to avoid unacceptable risks to patients and the NHS.'

Media contact
Creina Lilburne
Creina.lilburne@health.org.uk
Tel: 020 8257 8027

Notes to editors

  • The following chart shows how the number of delayed discharges from hospital has grown since 2011:

  • Delays attributable to social care now account for around 34% of all delays, up from around 24% in 2014/15.
  • Today, the Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust published Quality at a Cost, an analysis of a range of measures of quality for the NHS. The report states that ongoing pressures on the NHS risk making the health service more vulnerable to serious lapses in care in future.
  • Earlier this week, the Health Foundation published The challenge and potential of whole system flow which is a guide to help local NHS and social care leaders to improve the flow of patients, information and resources through local organisations.

 

Further reading

Quality at a cost

Quality at a cost is the fourth annual statement from QualityWatch, a joint research programme fr...

Publication

Quality at a cost