ames Frith, Labour MP for Bury North, used a speech in Parliament this week to call for a national conversation about the role hospices could play in freeing up hospital beds and supporting the social care system.

James’s speech came on the same day the Government announced plans to discharge people from hospital into spare rooms in private houses to tackle a national bed shortage and pressures on social care due to huge cuts to local authority budgets.

Speaking after the debate Labour secured to discuss the social care crisis, James said:

“The Government’s ‘CareBnB’ approach is not the right answer to address huge deficiencies in the health and social care system that have grown significantly worse as a result of massive Government cuts.

“Hospices like Bury Hospice in my constituency have empty beds and many – which rely on donations to survive – have to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds every year just to keep their doors open. We could save our hospices and tackle the bed shortage by using empty beds in our hospices for discharged patients and also support local social care services.

“I urge the Government to look at this option and I will be working with Greater Manchester’s Health & Social Care Partnership, Mayor Andy Burnham and our hospices to promote this idea in the region.”

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