160515 care crisis delayed discharge

  • Patients left lying in hospital because of lack of adult care services
  • Total number of delayed discharges up 30 percent since 2011/12
  • Government attempts to alleviate the adult care crisis having no effect

The number of delayed discharges in the NHS and adult care system reached record highs in 2015/16 amid the ongoing social care crisis, according to official figures published yesterday.

The number of patients whose discharge from hospitals and other health facilities was delayed for non-clinical reasons rose by nearly 10 percent in 2015/16, to more than 60,000 – a rise of nearly 30 percent since 2011/12, the first full year in which the data was measured.

The total length of delayed discharges reached more than 1.8 million days, up nearly a third since 2011/12. This suggests that each delay lasts a month on average.

Delayed discharges are officially called Delayed Transfers of Care, and are sometimes dubbed “bed blocking” as they mean hospital beds cannot be cleared for new patients, although this term is now seen as pejorative.

They are regarded as a result of the crisis in adult care, where a combination of fragmented, marketised services, government funding cuts and a growing elderly population means there are not enough care services for people to access when their hospital treatment is complete.

As a result, they have to be kept in hospital even after their treatment is over, putting pressure on NHS resources.

Source: Care crisis hits the NHS as delayed discharges reach record high of 1.8 MILLION days – Sentinel News

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