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Bed blocking in Wales “on the rise”

Bed blocking in Wales is continuing to threaten hospital services and more needs to be done to tackle the problem, a new report claims.

A cross-party group of AMs said the Assembly’s plans for health and social care “do not provide a coherent framework of guidance, budgets, priorities, performance measures and incentives”.

The Assembly’s Audit Committee did discover the amount of people experiencing a delayed transfer has fallen recently.

But it said this is not an accurate measure of the scale of the problem because it does not reflect the length of the delays.

It believes a more precise measure is the number of hospital bed days occupied by people experiencing a delay, and that figure jumped by 2% between 2006 and 2007 from 262,595 to 268,491.

The committee’s report says there needs to be a “clear local vision” to promote the independence of older people.

Conservative chairman David Melding said: “The causes of delayed transfers of care vary widely and are not simply the result of problems in any one part of the health and social care system, so a wide range of measures is needed to deal with the problem and not enough progress has yet been made.”

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Welsh Assembly