Only this week has the topic of NHS funding hit the newspaper headlines again. The NHS and social care leaders have written to Chancellor Philip Hammond demanding the £8bn increase to the NHS budget which the Conservative Party committed to; be front-loaded to ease immediate pressure. The NHS is under increasing pressure to maintain its high standards of care with an inadequate budget. At the start of October, the King’s Fund commented on the ‘worrying’ cuts to nurse numbers in the UK and concluded:
“The total number of NHS hospital beds in England, including general and acute, mental illness, learning disability, maternity and day-only beds, has more than halved over the past 30 years, from around 299,000 to 142,000, while the number of patients treated has increased significantly.”
NHS facilities are prioritised and given to those who need it the most – but what happens to those patients who do not classify as a priority patient? Or those who are too well to remain in hospital care, but too unwell to live independently? To see presentations of research into these problems from industry leading experts, register for your free ticket to attend the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo by calling 0117 990 2109.
Occupational therapy is a viable option but, as I said above, the NHS budget cannot facilitate the provision of occupational therapists to all patients. Moreover, funding for occupational therapy is completely dependent on what is made available from local commissioning groups. This means that those patients who cannot afford private care can slip through the social care gaps.
Age UK recently warned that increasing numbers of elderly patients are being ‘marooned’ in hospital beds – despite being medically fit – because of problems with social care. Clearly, the answer is not a care home. Care homes, like the NHS, do not have the facilities to accommodate people who require temporary care. To meet the growing demand for care home beds the care industry needs to generate another 50,000 beds within five years. However, a new care home can take up to seven years to plan and build. For example, in Swindon it is expected that there will be just seven new care home beds in 2022 – 165 less than they are predicted to need. Put simply, the care sector will not be able to meet the growing need of the country’s aging population and consequently finds itself teetering towards a crisis.
It is true that to attempt to prevent the crisis, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has injected ‘an extra £1bn into social care this year so every local authority in the country has more money to spend.’ However, this does not solve the problem of temporary care. It is immoral to expect someone requiring temporary care after a hospital discharge, to surrender their independence to a care home for the rest of their life purely because there are no better options.
Evidently, a new solution needs to be developed. If your business offers such services, we’d like to hear from you to discuss exhibiting opportunities on 0117 929 6097.
Headline news recently picked up on a trial initiative by Care Rooms dubbed ‘Care BnB’. The trial takes inspiration from the popular Air BnB model and offers to pay homeowners up to £50 to accommodate people recuperating from a hospital stay. Whilst the initiative was designed somewhat naively and has faced a negative backlash in the press – perhaps rightly so – the fact remains that what the initiative ‘represents – a critical need to look and think differently about how discharge is managed, will not and indeed – should not – go away.’
The need for a solution will only grow. Our elderly population is growing and along with it the number of people who need additional care after a hospital discharge.
The Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo aims to combat this problem. Our first aim is to help generate industry growth so the demand for beds expected over the next few years can be met. In meeting these demands, the care industry can relieve the pressure it currently finds itself under. Filling more beds means more money that can be then spent on improving the level of facilities care homes can offer. Ultimately this means that the care industry will have the funding to develop additional care facilities for those requiring temporary care.
Our second key ethic goes hand in hand with our first – we want to improve the level of care and facilities care homes can offer to their residents. Improving the level of care throughout the industry will create more initiatives that can cover a wider range of care needs.
3,000 care home owners and senior decision makers are due to attend the event on the 25th & 26th April 2018 at NEC, Birmingham. Tickets to the event are free, making this the must attend event for care home owners looking to develop and grow their care home businesses.
Register NOW for you free ticket