A report commissioned by the Centre For Physical Health has revealed that thousands of patients suffering from constipation are spending too long in hospital.
The report advises that the blockage is due to a lack of basic support for sufferers after their symptoms have eased.
Dr Phyllis Clitheroe, the widely acknowledged leading expert in the field, stated :
"There is a genuine problem with patients who have been admitted to NHS hospitals suffering from constipation but who have subsequently recovered.
Very often the successful treatment leads to the sufferers experiencing symptoms at the very opposite end of the spectrum and it is then that they need advice and support to cope with their new problems.
But there is absolutely no availability of such facilities".
The report concludes that as a result these patients are kept in hospital for weeks on end when the issuing of a simple advice leaflet would enable them to be discharged and thus free up much needed bed spaces.
Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley has promised an urgent investigation into the blockage problem.