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Hospital Beds

Question for Department of Health

UIN 119890, tabled on 18 December 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to tackle bed blocking in hospitals.

Answered on

22 December 2017

This Government is clear that no-one should stay in hospital longer than necessary. Unnecessary delays in leaving hospital can result in poorer outcomes for patients, interrupted patient flow and put further pressure on hospital services.

An extra £2 billion of funding has been provided over the next three years to be spent on meeting adult social care needs, stabilising the social care market and reducing pressure on the National Health Service, including reducing delayed transfers of care. £1 billion of this funding has been made available for 2017/18. In the autumn Budget, an additional £337 million was announced for this year to help the NHS ease winter pressures. Of this, up to £60 million will be spent on creating 1,400 extra beds.

The Department, NHS England, NHS Improvement and local government are proving wide-ranging support to help local areas improve transfers out of hospital and reduce delays. Nationally, more than 1,000 extra beds have been freed up since February 2017 by reducing delayed transfers of care.