New figures show the number of delayed discharges from hospital has increased by 16% in the last 15 months, at a total bill of almost quarter of a billion pounds.
Department of Health figures for October show there are now more than 64,000 days of delayed discharges every month – up from 55,000 in August 2010, the month from which new figures have been collected.
The monthly cost of these delays was £16.7m in October, and the total bill has now reached £239m since August last year.
Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, said:
“Every day, thousands of older people are stuck in hospital when they could be getting care in the community or at home. This is costing the NHS millions of pounds – money hard pressed taxpayers can ill afford to waste.
“Yet despite all the evidence of the growing care crisis for older people, the Government refuses to listen. They are cutting frontline NHS services and cutting funding for older people’s social care by £1.3bn in real terms. And at a time when NHS and social care services should be working together in the interests of patients, they have instead been thrown into chaos by the Government’s reckless Health Bill.
“The Government is totally out of touch with what’s really happening on the ground. Ministers continue to insist that resources are going up and frontline services are being protected, dismissing concerns as ‘zombie-like’ scaremongering.
“David Cameron must wake up to reality and live up to his promises to protect services for older people, and make the best use of taxpayers money too.”