"This country is wasting billions of pounds paying for people to be cared for in the most expensive and often most inappropriate places – hospital wards - instead of ensuring they are helped to return home with the right rehabilitation and support and ultimately regain their independence.
"Saga has been urging the Government to take the need to organise care for older people more seriously. By improving the system, not only could the NHS save money by releasing high cost hospital beds, it would also be vastly more dignified and comfortable for all concerned and reduce the long term need for care . We need a radical overhaul of care funding, proper integration between health and care systems and we need to embrace new technology that would help improve the lives of older people, rather than leaving them languishing in hospital beds unnecessarily. When given the option most older people would sooner be at home being cared for than stuck in a hospital with little stimulation - and this audit rightly highlights that the rehabilitation services are key to this.
"The current system is simply no longer designed for the population it now needs to serve.”