Summer months are most favoured for respite care
Caring Times, June 2013
More than five times as many people accessed short-stay services in a Bupa care home in June than any other month of the year, according to a new report.
The report, called ‘Short Stay – Long Benefit’ looked at the times of year when people are currently using Bupa care homes to give family carers a break, or for older people to use them to recuperate after illness or treatments.
It showed that the overwhelming majority of people – 68% – who selected a Bupa care home for a short stay, did so in the months of May and June.
The report highlights that surprisingly few short-stay admissions are made to care homes during the winter months. Yet this is the period when the NHS is often under greatest stress from the effects of flu and other ‘winter bugs’, and the toll of injuries caused by slips, trips and falls in bad weather.
Andrew Cannon, Managing Director of Bupa Care Services said:
“While there are no clear reasons for this peak – it’s no coincidence that at halfway through the year, hard-working home carers are looking for a break, so that they, too, can remain fit and healthy to care for longer.”
The report shows there is capacity for care homes to take more of the winter stress and relieve the burden on hard-pressed NHS hospitals, and that commissioners could take more advantage of short-stay care as an option throughout the year – not just the summer months.
Andrew Cannon added:
“Greater integration of the health and social care systems can have real benefits for the NHS and for patients. Care homes can help to ease the seasonal pressure on acute hospital beds by providing responsive and flexible short-stay care.
“Avoiding unnecessary admissions and supporting earlier discharges from hospitals would save money for the NHS and ease people back into their own homes faster. Failing to do this would be a real missed opportunity”
The report also highlights that having access to good-quality short-stay care can be a lifeline for families caring for older or disabled loves ones.
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive, Carers UK said:
“Giving carers the chance to recharge their batteries, look after their own health and take time for themselves is an essential part of enabling families to continue to care for relatives.
“Delivering services carers can trust, which prevent them from being pushed to crisis point, is not only good for families but delivers wider savings in the long-term – reducing emergency admissions and carer breakdown.”