Published: 20/06/2002, Volume II2, No.5810 Page 5

Focusing on reducing the number of delayed discharges could create a 'perverse incentive', encouraging more acute admissions 'as people find the best way to get residential care is from a hospital bed', chief social services inspector Denise Platt has warned.

And she pledged that cross-charging social services departments for the cost of bed blocking would not be introduced 'without some reality checking'.Speaking to the British Association of Medical Managers conference in London last week, Ms Platt told delegates: 'By concentrating on delayed discharges We are bringing in more and more people into acute care as people find the best way to get residential care is from a hospital bed.We are heating up the system.'