Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By JAS­MINE RAPSON Lo­cal democ­racy re­porter jas­[email protected]­

A LACK of com­mu­nity hos­pi­tal beds in Bucks has led to ma­jor dis­charge de­lays as pa­tients wait to move on to their next stage of care, ac­cord­ing to a coun­cil re­port.

How­ever, dur­ing a meet­ing of Bucks County Coun­cil’s (BCC) health and well­be­ing board last week there was con­fu­sion over whether the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided in the pa­per is ac­tu­ally cor­rect.

The BCC and Bucks Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) re­port states the most com­mon rea­sons for de­lays are a lack of non-acute beds at com­mu­nity hospi­tals for pa­tients to be trans­ferred to.

Across Buck­ing­hamshire pa­tients col­lec­tively waited 2,660 days – more than seven years – to be trans­ferred to com­mu­nity hospi­tals over the past year.

The 20 in­pa­tient beds at Mar­low and Thame com­mu­nity hospi­tals were scrapped last year as a new NHS com­mu­nity hub pi­lot was launched – which aimed to bring more care closer to pa­tients’ homes.

Cam­paign­ers feared the scheme would con­trib­ute to a “se­vere bed short­age” in Bucks and con­tinue to cam­paign against the move.

Cabi­net mem­ber for chil­dren’s ser­vices, War­ren Whyte, ques­tioned why the NHS is push­ing for­ward with com­mu­nity hub plans if the lack of beds is putting ad­di­tional strain on ser­vices.

Speak­ing dur­ing the meet­ing on De­cem­ber 6, Cllr Whyte said: “The big­gest cause of de­lays trans­fer care is at­trib­uted to the lack of com­mu­nity non-acute beds and yet we have a health­care trust that is con­tin­u­ing with a re­con­fig­u­ra­tion of com­mu­nity health­care hubs, or com­mu­nity hospi­tals.

“We are now in De­cem­ber with the win­ter rush about to start – and com­mu­ni­ties still don’t know what the Buck­ing­hamshire health­care trust’s view is on com­mu­nity beds and on acute beds.”

How­ever clin­i­cal di­rec­tor of chil­dren’s ser­vices at Bucks CCG, Juliet Sut­ton, ques­tioned the ac­cu­racy of the data, stat­ing: “I’m not sure that is ac­tu­ally cor­rect. I think it’s [re­fer­ring to] non-acute NHS and prob­a­bly more care home beds.”

Leader of BCC, Martin Tett, then raised con­cerns in­ac­cu­rate and out-of-date data has been pro­vided, stat­ing: “What wor­ries me is if we have been given in­for­ma­tion that ac­tu­ally isn’t ac­cu­rate.

“If we have a statu­tory re­spon­si­bil­ity col­lec­tively as a group of col­leagues to mon­i­tor this, and we see some­thing here and draw a con­clu­sion, and some­one says that’s not true, we need to have ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion to draw the right con­clu­sions and see if col­lec­tively we can do bet­ter.

“We are get­ting very out-of-date data and se­condly I’m not clear if we are be­ing given ac­cu­rate con­text.”

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ties, health and adult so­cial care, Gill Quin­ton, as­sured mem­bers ac­tion is be­ing taken to re­duce the num­ber of de­lays in care trans­fer.

This in­cludes a new ‘dis­charge to assess’ sys­tem, which will al­low pa­tients to be dis­charged ear­lier from hos­pi­tal by ar­rang­ing non-acute care with other providers.

She added that more hos­pi­tal beds have been com­mis­sioned in other ar­eas to tackle the is­sues caused by re­duced num­ber of beds at com­mu­nity hospi­tals.


A hos­pi­tal bed

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