Government promises meaningful cut to bed-blocking

There will be a “measurable reduction” in bed occupancy rates in its mandate to the NHS.

This year’s NHS mandate pledges a reduction in bed blocking to 3.5 per cent by improving out-of-hospital care.

Recent data shows record levels month after month of cases of delayed transfer for care. One of the reasons patients are having to stay in hospital unnecessarily is because there is not a suitable care package for them in the community. Although, interestingly, according to a Nuffield Trust report: “While the reduced availability of social care is often highlighted as the cause of DTOC, 57 per cent of the delays occurred because of issues in the NHS.”

The issue of bed blocking is a thorny one for hospitals - not least as it often generates adverse media coverage and there are financial costs associated with managing the use of its beds. In an earlier blog post we looked at possible solutions open to providers when dealing with bed blockers following the well-publicised patient who refused to leave his Norfolk hospital bed after two years – despite being medically fit.

Do get in touch if you would like to discuss any of these issues or require support with your discharge policies.

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