NHS respite care is a vital lifeline but is rigidly applied, possibly because of resource issues. Thus a carer who hopes for an eight day holiday but only has seven days respite is frustrated. Illness in carers or flight delays can lead to major problems for the family and the NHS. Short respite care can be a huge relief in a crisis, but the NHS cannot usually cater for this.
Many nursing homes and care homes have space to offer 2 or 3 day respite care but do not do so because they are not licensed for a specific age range or category of disorder. A modest relaxation of the licensing requirements in order to allow short periods of respite care would improve the carer's lot and reduce pressure on acute hospital beds.