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Cumbria 'bed blocking' worst in country

March 23, 2017 12:01 PM

Figures published today show that the rate of 'bed blocking' in Cumbria is the worst in the country. More than 100 hospital beds a day are taken up by patients whose release has been delayed due to problems in the social care system. South Lakeland MP Tim Farron says the government must give an urgent funding boost to the social care system to tackle this crisis.

Analysis undertaken by the BBC examined delayed transfers of care due to problems related to social care. Cumbria had the worst figures in the country, with 78 days lost per 1000 adults. This is significantly higher than the second worst area, Trafford, which has 53 delayed days per 1000 adults. The figure for Cumbria is more than 6 times the national average of 12 days lost per 1000 adults.

Ahead of the recent budget, the Lib Dems called for a £4billion emergency boost for health and social care in 2017/18, which would have included an additional £2billion for social care. Locally, that would have meant just over £20million for social care in Cumbria. Instead, the government has decided to stretch this amount over three years.

Tim said: "The government is in denial about the scale of the crisis facing social care. The system is desperately short of funding, and this is having a knock-on impact on frontline NHS services as well.

"In an area like ours with a significant proportion of elderly residents, it is vital to have properly funded social care for local people. It is a matter of health and a matter of dignity. If this means that taxes need to increase to pay for social care, the Lib Dems are prepared to do that and be upfront with the electorate. The Conservative Government is instead offering far too little spread over far too long, and then trying to palm off responsibility to local councils. It is time for the government to confront our social care crisis."