One in four local patients stuck in hospital beds, despite being fit to leave

18 Apr 2024
Tim outside Westmorland General Hospital

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron is urging the Prime Minister to tackle the social care crisis after shocking new figures revealed that one in four hospital beds in Morecambe Bay are taken up by patients who are medically fit to leave.

House of Commons Library research, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, shows the proportion of available hospital beds at each NHS trust being taken up by patients classed as fit to leave but who are unable to, often due to a lack of social care.

Morecambe Bay (24%) saw a shocking one in four available hospital beds out of action due to delayed discharges, with 156 of 651 beds taken up by patients ready to leave.

This was the more than twice as high as the national average in England of 11%.

Meanwhile in North Cumbria around one in six available beds (16%) were taken up by patients well enough to be discharged.

Leading health think tank the King’s Fund has calculated that it costs the NHS £395 a night to care for someone when they could be discharged. The direct costs of delayed discharges in 2022/23 was a staggering £1.9 billion. Patients who stay in hospital when they are ready to be discharged are also at higher risk of getting hospital-acquired infections and of losing mobility and independence.

Tim said: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking that people are being left stranded in hospitals every day waiting for the care they need.

“Elderly relatives are stuck alone in overcrowded hospital wards, when they could be being cared for at home or with their families if the right support was there.

“Time and time again we’ve herd Conservative Prime Minister’s promising to fix the crisis in social care, and then failing to take the action to do so.

“We desperately need the Government to invest in training and recruiting the care staff we need to look after our loved ones, and free up hospital beds for people in need.”

This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.