Short-stay admissions to care homes are few and far between in winter, despite the capacity to support hard-pressed hospitals during the season, a report has shown.
More than five times as many people accessed short-stay services in a Bupa care home in June than any other month of the year.
The report Short Stay - Long Benefit also showed May and June saw 68% of people using a Bupa care home for short-stay.
The research looked at times of year when care homes were used to give family carers a break or for older people to recuperate after illness.
Andrew Cannon, managing director of Bupa Care Services, said: "While there are no clear reasons for this peak - it's no coincidence that at halfway through the year, hard-working home carers are looking for a break, so that they, too, can remain fit and healthy to care for longer."
The report highlighted "surprisingly" few short-stay admissions made to care homes during the winter months when the NHS is often under the greatest pressure.
"Greater integration of the health and social care systems can have real benefits for the NHS and for patients. Care homes can help to ease the seasonal pressure on acute hospital beds by providing responsive and flexible short-stay care."
He added avoiding unnecessary admissions and supporting earlier discharges from hospitals could save NHS money.
Heléna Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK said: "Giving carers the chance to recharge their batteries, look after their own health and take time for themselves is an essential part of enabling families to continue to care for relatives.
"Delivering services carers can trust, which prevent them from being pushed to crisis point, is not only good for families but delivers wider savings in the long-term - reducing emergency admissions and carer breakdown."
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