Category Archives: dementia

Half of wards filled by elderly people who should really be in care homes.

The number of hospital beds in England is on course to fall by a record 20,000 in a year, adding to fears about services being cut.

By Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent 7:00AM GMT 25 Feb 2011
New Department of Health figures show there are now fewer than 140,000 overnight beds in all types of hospital.

It suggests a record fall this year, raising concerns that entire units are being closed without services being provided elsewhere as the NHS tries to save £20billion in three years.

The figures will also heighten fears of a shortage in hospital places driven by the ageing population, as beds in geriatric wards have been among the worst hit in recent years.

A report published by Bupa yesterday (THURS) warned that the NHS faces an “intolerable” bed-blocking crisis that will see half of wards filled by elderly people who should really be in care homes.

However ministers insist that hospitals are now able to treat patients quickly rather than keeping them overnight on wards, and say not all trusts have submitted updated bed numbers and so the figures cannot be compared with previous years.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “A straight reduction in bed numbers does not necessarily equate to a decline in patient care. Many conditions are treated effectively in the community by skilled staff, who can keep patients as healthy as possible in their own homes.

“However, nothing should come ahead of the needs of patients. Any reduction in bed numbers needs to be properly planned with services provided elsewhere. Attempts to slash bed numbers simply for a short-term cost saving are irresponsible and entirely wrong.

“When the Government announced that up to £20 billion needed to be saved within the NHS, we were told that this money would be reinvested back into frontline services. We have yet to see any significant evidence that this is actually happening. We would urge the Government to highlight where and how these savings are improving patient care.”

Angry response to social care cuts

    by Sarah Bull, Huddersfield Daily Examiner Feb 25 2011

Consider the Examiner report on the protest by carers and disabled people against proposed cuts in services to vulnerable children and adults.

A group of desperate people, representing many others in similar situations, made their voices heard at Huddersfield Town Hall. According to councillors they were “rabble”, “loons’’ and “scaremongers”.

Paul Burstow MP speech at the Dementia workshop

Paul Burstow MP speech at the Dementia workshop.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence