Fresh analysis has revealed thousands of Somerset hospital beds are occupied by medically fit patients, a situation which has been described as a 'social care crisis.'

In May 2023, 2,196 bed days were lost across Somerset hospitals, with many involving delayed discharges of fit patients.

The figures show that Somerset is among the 20 most badly affected hospital trusts for bed days lost.

The Liberal Democrats have called for a 'carer's minimum wage' which would be set at £2 an hour above the minimum wage to drive recruitment in the care sector.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Taunton and Wellington, Gideon Amos said:

"Far too many elderly and vulnerable people are ending up stuck in hospital when they are ready to leave, because there simply isn’t the care available for them at home or in the community. 

“Having been a carer and worked in a charity supporting people to return home from hospital, I completely get the pain and distress this is causing, while piling even more pressure on our already overstretched hospitals.

“The Liberal Democrats understand that you can’t fix the crisis in the NHS without fixing the crisis in social care. We want to see the Government start valuing carers properly by bringing in a Carer’s Minimum Wage to reduce soaring vacancies in social care and tackle the crisis facing the NHS.”