NHS chief reveals 18,000 people have been stuck in hospitals for more than three WEEKS because there are no care services in their community
- Simon Stevens said 18,000 people had been stuck in hospitals for three weeks
- He told Andrew Marr could be better treated elsewhere with care facilities
- NHS chief executive said it illustrated the pressure on the NHS of older people
Around 18,000 people have been stuck in NHS hospitals for more than three weeks because there are no care services in their community, the NHS chief executive revealed today.
Simon Stevens said most of them could be better looked after elsewhere and said it illustrated why the NHS is buckling under growing pressure.
Mr Stevens said Government had to get to grips with the ageing population, warning the growing elderly population was among the biggest challenges in 70 years of the NHS.
Theresa May has unveiled an extra £20billion a year for the NHS, while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised to reform social care.
Around 18,000 people have been stuck in NHS hospitals for more than three weeks because there are no care services in their community, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens (pictured on Marr) revealed today
Simon Stevens told Marr (pictured) most of them could be better looked after elsewhere and said it illustrated why the NHS is buckling under growing pressure.
Mr Stevens said the Prime Minister had promised care changes would not add to pressure on the NHS.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: ‘I think we’re seeing today that part of the reason hospitals are under such pressure is because we’ve got about 18,000 people in hospital who’ve been there for more than 3 weeks.
‘Many of those with appropriate community health services and social care could be back on their feet at home. I think that case has been now well understood.
‘I think there are some immediate support that is required over the next several years and there’s frankly a big national debate which has been due to crystallize for some time now about what we do looking out over the next 10 and 20 years.’
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Challenged on whether this meant the Government would separately have to fund social care, Mr Stevens said that was the ‘obvious implication’.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned the NHS package means there is no money left for other priorities.
Theresa May (pictured in Maidenhead today) has unveiled an extra £20billion a year for the NHS, while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised to reform social care
But Mr Stevens said: ‘The Prime Minister has been clear that the government understands the pressures on social care.
‘Looking back over the last 5 years (it is clear) that unless you are able to support social care then the health service will struggle as well.
‘So I think there’s real agreement on that. I don’t think that’s a point of argument.’
Mr Stevens said the Government’s funding package for the NHS was enough to drive reform to the health service, despite being less than he had demanded.
Ministers are promising to spend an extra 3.4 per cent a year – against the 4 per cent Mr Stevens and others had asked for.
Mr Stevens told Marr: ‘We can do more than stand still with this funding.
‘But we recognise that we’re still going to have to make sensible phased improvements, not least because part of how we’re going to be able to do more is by getting the staff that we need.
‘And it takes, as you know, ten years to train a GP, 12 to 14 years to train a consultant.
‘We’ve got nursing pressures right across the health service, so we’ve got to sync up the money with the workforce with the improvements and that’s what the ten year plan that we’re going to be developing will do.’
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