Nursing homes are in crisis in England as the government faces an unprecedented demand for care from the NHS and its patients, the Royal College of Nursing has warned.
The report said that between June and September this year, nursing homes saw a rise in demand for help, with an increase in the number of beds they needed.
In England alone, there were nearly 4.5 million nurses needing help and the number needing care in the country increased by more than 25 per cent over the same period, the RCN said.
The RCN’s national president, Tim Moxon, said: “We’re witnessing an unprecedented crisis in nursing homes, which is leading to a surge in demand from the private sector and the public sector.”
Our hospitals are struggling to cope, and are under unprecedented pressure from a number of different pressures, such as the rising costs of care, a sharp rise in the demand for nurses, and the fact that we are seeing a huge surge in suicides.
“He added that while the NHS has been able to respond to the rising demand, it is “not coping well”.”
The NHS has a clear duty to care for patients in the most care-giving way possible, but our care is being stretched to the limit, with more and more hospitals and nursing homes struggling to provide the care they need,” Moxons said.
He added: “The NHS can’t meet this demand, and that is why we must continue to act quickly to improve our capacity to care.”
The RCNF has warned that a number private providers are in a “precarious” position and that the government must take action to address the growing shortage of nursing homes.
It said the government’s current funding system for nursing homes is inadequate and has made it impossible for the RCNF to ensure that patients are given the care and support they need, and is not providing sufficient funding to the sector.
In a report to the House of Commons, the government announced the establishment of a new fund to address nursing homes’ challenges.
The fund will be funded by a new levy on the profits of nursing home operators, with the funds going to the RCNA.
In response to the funding announcement, the RNSA said that while it was welcome to the new levy, it was “inadequate” and would only “serve to exacerbate the situation”.
In a statement, the NHS said it is committed to supporting the RCNH and its members, and has also introduced a series of measures, including increased staff training and improved monitoring and training for nurses.
It also said it has taken a number measures to tackle the growing demand for nursing home care.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “[The RCNH] has already been working hard to reduce the number and size of nursing units, to increase nursing homes to the point where they are a proportion of the population, and to provide more staff and training to staff and their families.”
We also know that there are pressures on our health service, and these pressures have been increasing over the last two years.”
The RCNN has made a number recommendations to help the NHS to respond and deal with this pressure, and we look forward to continuing to work with the RCNN and its member organisations to make the NHS a more effective and resilient health service.