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Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:24

Lack of residential care causing 'bed-blocking' but is home care really the answer?


A total of 29,374 beds were blocked in UK hospitals last year, with a high proportion due to a lack of capacity in nursing homes or residential care homes, according to a new study.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made by Cera Care to NHS Trusts revealed 3,339 of these incidents were due to the wait for nursing home placements and 2,158 for care home placements.

The highest amount of bed-blocking incidents (delayed discharges) were due to waiting for further non-acute NHS care, with 8,227 cases.

Overall figures showed there were 565 delayed discharges in UK hospitals every week.

In a statement, Cera Care said: “One of the key reasons that many beds are blocked in hospital is down to a lack of capacity in nursing homes or residential care homes. Often it is also done at the family’s request as they might not have the resources to look after their loved one at home.

“A solution to both of these issues would be home care. This enables that person to continue living at home and retain as much of their independence as possible.

“The care that they receive will be provided by a highly-professional carer and will be tailored to their specific care needs and requirements therefore, it will only assist in the areas that they need help.”

However, the FOI request demonstrated there were also 3,204 bed-blocking incidents cited due to the wait for care packages at home.

The ongoing wait for the social care green paper, which has been delayed numerous times and is now expected in April, is putting even further strain on adult social care and care at home provision.

Earlier this month, Age UK revealed 54,025 older people will have died whilst waiting for a care package – this is since Philip Hammond announced the government’s original intention for a social care green paper in the Spring Budget in 2017. This equates to 77 people dying per day.

Such high rates of delayed discharges are also costing the NHS financially. The cost per day of a delayed discharge/ or bed blocking, according to the FOI data, varies depending on location, but the average is around £325.

The following represents a snapshot of the picture across the UK:

• Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust – £425.64 per day

• Cwm Taf University Health Board – £327.15

• Kent Community Health – £350

• Liverpool Women’s Hospital – £565

• Midland’s Partnership Foundation Trust – £378.73

• NHS Grampian – £727

• North Bristol NHS Trust – £308

• Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust – £180

• Royal Cornwall Hospitals – £345

• Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust – £200

The overall data revealed the biggest problem with delayed discharges was more prevalent in Plymouth, Leeds, Walsall, Bury and Stockton-on-Tees.

 #LMT #Nottingham #Manchester #Northampton #Telford #Care #ElderlyCare #Healthcare #HomeCare





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26 August 2019