A CUMBRIAN MP has called on the Government to tackle the bed blocking crisis in Cumbria’s hospitals.

Tim Farron has urged ministers to increase pay for care workers by at least £2 an hour and to tackle the housing crisis to give those staff an affordable place to live in order to solve the problem.

It comes after new figures from the NHS revealed hospitals in the Morecambe Bay area were unable to discharge on average nearly three quarters of their patients every day last month.

Statistics analysed by Mr Farron’s office showed 72 per cent of patients who had been identified as ready to be discharged that day were still occupying a bed at midnight, tying up on average 184 beds each night.

Research published by the Liberal Democrats in May this year showed that hospitals in the Morecambe Bay Trust had lost 1,326 bed days due to ‘delayed discharges’.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Farron said: “In a community like ours, one of the major reasons that nearly a third of the beds were blocked is the simple fact that there are not enough homes for people on average or below average incomes to live in.

“If we do not provide homes in communities like ours – by tackling the Airbnb crisis, the second homes crisis and the lack of social rented homes – we will have no workforce in care, in health or in any part of our public sector.

“Until the Government recognise the need to support those who work, and can potentially work, in health and social care, mental and physical health, we will continue to live in a crisis, particularly in rural communities like Westmorland.”