Hospitals 'only place for 24/7 care', NHS Wales deputy chief says
5 November 2013 Last updated at 15:20 GMT
Austerity means that hospitals are now the only places able to offer the 24/7 care that some elderly people need, a senior NHS Wales boss has told AMs.
Deputy chief executive Kevin Flynn said public spending cuts had made the social care system as a whole unfit for purpose and unsustainable long term.
He said that if it were not for the effect of cuts in social care, "we could have probably intervened to the stage where they didn't get to hospital".
Last winter the NHS had more ill and elderly patients who needed urgent hospital care than expected.
Mr Flynn said it resulted in delayed treatment for thousands of others as the beds remained occupied.
BBC Wales health correspondent Owain Clarke reports.