Montgomeryshire AM Russell George MS (Con) has called for 24/7 ‘winter war rooms’ to coordinate bed capacity in hospitals and care homes in Wales.
In a debate, it was noted that there are over 900 people in Welsh hospital beds who are ready to leave but have had their discharge delayed. George said the aim of the new controls would be to identify pressure points and act to reduce ambulance delays and lengthy waits in A&E.
In response, Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said planning for winter pressures in Wales started in April and she described the Department of Health and Social Care’s £200 million care home discharge bed initiative as “too late”. She said: “It’s a lovely idea; it’s a shame that they didn’t think about it earlier. There is no way that they’re going to get people—. And you try and find those beds, because, I tell you what, we’ve been doing it week after week after week. It’s going to take a lot longer.”
Summarising, she said that there is a need for fundamental reform when it comes to social care.