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Wales to launch bed blocking inquiry

9th November 2006

A Welsh independent review is set to take place in to the problems of bed blocking in the country's hospitals.

Welsh parliamentary members voted unanimously for the review after it was revealed that more than 700 beds in the country are being used by patients well enough to head to care homes.

The Conservatives called for the enquiry in a bid to improve the use of acute beds in the country's wards.

Funding problems are believed to be partly to blame for a failure to transfer many patients to care homes, while a number of people are on a long waiting list in a bid to get in to the home of their choice.

Conservative Jonathan Morgan insisted to the BBC that the inquiry was required to "force progress on an issue we feel has been neglected."

He added that the financial cost of bed blocking was also a concern.

"There is absolutely no doubt that the figure is substantial and represents a constant shackle around the neck of the Welsh NHS," he added.

The number of delayed transfers of care in Wales is at its highest level for almost two years.