Due to the severe pressures NHS hospitals have been experiencing over the winter period, hospitals are being told to let care homes do more to help. Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said:-

“The NHS Acute Trusts could significantly reduce winter pressures by establishing long-term relationships with independent care providers. The care sector has been saying this for years and yet again the NHS has not listened and is in yet another crisis”.

With the situation becoming ever-increasingly worse, hospitals need as much as help as they can. Tens of thousands of operations were cancelled in January alone because the NHS is struggling to cope with a surge in patients attending hospital in winter. In the last week of December, for one hour 12 hospital Trusts said they had no beds free. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable during the winter months and are at risk of illnesses such as the flu.

It remains to be seen how things go and whether a long-term relationship will be established between independent care providers and NHS Trusts.