Government must fix social care failure leaving thousands stranded in hospitals – Karin Smyth MP

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has called out Government social care failures hitting families across the UK. Soaring staff shortages have left thousands of medically fit people stranded in hospital, piling further pressure on the NHS – and causing untold trauma for patients and their families. 

The ongoing scandal of delayed discharge in NHS hospitals has led to almost 10,000 medically fit patients occupying hospital beds.  Recent findings from the National Care Forum showed that care homes are missing a third of necessary staff, further compounding the crisis in our social care sector, with over half of the care worker shortages being caused by long-term vacancies.  Meanwhile, the Government’s failure to fund and secure a future social care workforce is putting families under further pressure. 

Labour would drive a ‘home first’ approach, shifting the focus of support to prevention and early intervention with a strong social care system that would go a long way to fixing both spiraling admissions and spikes in delayed patient discharge. 

This week Karin Smyth pressed the Health Secretary to work cross-party, in line with the Joint Select Committee report of 2018, to bring forward immediate change and offer hope and respite to those receiving social care.


Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said: 

“It is a disgrace that thousands of medically fit patients are currently stranded in hospital when they should be at home with family or in a supported setting.  This is putting huge unnecessary pressure on the NHS and families.  Short term cash or threatening legal action are not solutions, and the Government must do better to bring about immediate change.

“The Minister of State for Health explicitly said that those who remain in hospital when no longer required ‘affects not only the system but individuals’ physical and mental health’, yet instructed his MP’s to vote down Labour’s amendment during the Committee Stage of the Health and Social Care Bill which would have addressed this issue.

“Social care support is a lifeline, not a luxury.  It’s urgent the Government do something to strengthen the social care system now to help people get the care they need at home and in the community to prevent delayed discharge from hospital, rather than wait years for money from the national insurance tax rise to come in before taking any action.”