Northampton

Northamptonshire needs 'radical plan' for bed blocking

Northamptonshire county council Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Northamptonshire's health and council bosses have asked the government for more money for adult social care

MPs have told a cash-strapped council it needs a "radical plan" to solve its bed blocking crisis.

About 900 patients are stuck in Northamptonshire hospitals and the county council has overspent on adult social care by £6m in three months.

In a meeting on Thursday, the county's MPs said health and adult social care should be combined to attract more funds.

Ian Morris, from the county council, said they were "working" on the issue.

The county's health and council bosses met with the seven MPs to lobby for more money, reported the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The Conservative MPs told them to look at the model in Greater Manchester where health and adult social care is provided by one organisation.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Ninety over-65s are currently being admitted to Northampton and Kettering hospitals, twice the national average

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone said the council reorganisation in Northamptonshire was the perfect time to make the change.

The county council, along with district and borough councils will be dissolved in 2021 and two new unitary authorities will take over, after the authority overspent its budget by millions of pounds.

'Under pressure'

Mr Hollobone said: "There is a sensible plan for a combined health and social care organisation that is more likely to attract more funding."

Conservative, Mr Morris, the county councillor in charge of adult social care, did not specifically comment on the MPs proposal but said they were "already working closely" with hospitals and health care providers.

He said the £6m overspend would be "managed within the overall budget" and it was caused by a "20% increase in demand" on adult social care.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The county council says it has one of the largest over-65 populations in the county

Labour councillor Mick Scrimshaw said: "The answer had to come from central government."

He warned that if the new unitary authorities do not get extra funding "day-to-day services, such as bin collections, will come under pressure".

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