Thursday, 8 September 2011

NHS "Fines" Fail To Help The Vulnerable

Leading Cambridgeshire County Councillors have hit out at the NHS for “fining” Cambridgeshire more than £1.3 million in the last three years for delays in getting patients out of hospital and back into the community.
Shadow Cabinet Member for Health, Geoff Heathcock and Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services, Fiona Whelan, says the system simply moves cash around the NHS achieving nothing.
“This makes absolutely no sense,” said Cllr Heathcock. “The county council’s Adult Social Services are paying huge fines to the NHS for delays in discharging hospital patients back into the community.
“Moving money in this way from one partner to another is a waste of money and time and does nothing to deal with the substantive issue which is whether appropriate follow up care packages are available.”
Cllr Whelan added: “It is a well-known fact that people recover far quicker if they are in their own homes. But hospitals cannot let vulnerable patients leave if there is not suitable care in place for them to go home or there are not residential places available.
“Charging the county council in this way just means less money available to be able to help these people. That is complete nonsense and achieves nothing.”