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One fifth of beds are filled by patients who are medically fit to leave, but cannot do so. Some languish because council care is not ready, there is no space in the community or no one to care for them at home.
The cash is to entice a friend or relative to look after the patient and allow them to leave NHS hospitals.
Each blocked hospital bed costs the health service around £400 a day, with almost 1.75million days lost in the year to February 2020 in England alone.
Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said: “Older people and hospitals alike need the Government to tackle the shortage of community care staff.”
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