BED blocking at hospitals is at a record high. The old and vulnerable spent 184,855 days on wards in February when well enough to go home. The figure, 26,000 up on February 2016 and a record for the month, equates to blocking 506 NHS beds for a year. It is 72,500, or 64 per cent, up on 2011 when the Tories came to power as part of the Coalition. Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth blamed “severe” social care cuts for the rise and demanded urgent action. He said: “Behind each of these statistics is a patient suffering.” The Government said it was spending £2billion in “joining up health and social care” so patients can leave hospital sooner.