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Social care sector ‘unable to accept hospital patients’ because of low staff

Over 200 managers have said they have had to turn requests for care during the time where staff numbers are “the worst anyone can remember”. Families have also said they are struggling to keep relatives safe

Social care providers are unable to accept hospital patients ready for discharge

Social care providers are unable to accept hospital patients ready for discharge because their staff are ­“leaving in droves”.

More than 200 managers told the Institute of Health and Social Care Management that they have had to turn down requests for care.

The UK Homecare ­Association said that staffing is “the worst anyone can remember”.

Firms that send carers round to homes on a daily basis are handing back care ­packages, which means families can struggle to keep their relatives safe.

Joanna Mitchell, director of Your Care, which provides mainly palliative care, said she had to turn down around 30 care ­packages one morning this week.

UK Home Care Association chief executive Dr Jane Townson



She takes referrals from community nurses and hospitals in Kent to help people live their final days at home.

Joanna said: “It’s heartbreaking, because families are left to struggle on their own in what’s already an emotional environment.

“Their loved one is dying and we just can’t get to them quick enough, if at all.” ­Councils are struggling to find care placements and hospitals are having to delay discharges.

Dr Jane Townson, UKHCA chief ­executive, said: “We’ve got one of the lowest numbers of beds per population of any country in Europe.”

One care manager said their provider is not adding names to its waiting list until January. Another said they are refusing between 15 and 20 care packages a week.

Age UK calculated there were 1.5 million older people with un-met care needs even before the pandemic.

Rachel Harrison, national officer for the GMB union, said: “It’s no wonder care homes are ­chronically understaffed. It’s a direct result of appalling pay and conditions.”

The Department of Health and Social Care, headed by Sajid Javid, said: “We are working with local authorities and providers to ensure we have the right number of staff with the skills to deliver
high-quality care to meet increasing demands.

“This includes providing councils with access to more than £1billion of additional funding in 2021-22.”

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