Burns calls for respect for victims of underfunding
Caring Times, January 2017
Dr Eileen Burns, the new president of the British Geriatrics Society, has called for public recognition that older people facing delays in discharge from hospital are the victims of underfunding of social care and not ‘the problem’.
Dr Burns has urged members of the public, and media to reject pejorative terms like ‘bed blockers’ and urge the Government to give social care the priority it deserves.
Dr Burns says accessible social care is a key factor in reducing hospital admissions and delayed discharges for older people. According to research published earlier this month by Age UK, the number of older people in England who don’t get the social care they need has soared to a new high of 1.2 million – up by 48% since 2010.
“There is a direct correlation between these statistics and the latest data from NHS England which found that delayed discharges are at their highest level since records began in 2010, with the number of delayed days in September reaching 196,246,” said Dr Burns.
“Without adequate funding we will continue to have high numbers of delayed discharges and I would urge both the Government, and the general public, to understand this vital connection between health and social care.”