BED BLOCK­ING IS ON THE RISE

More than 40 per cent in­crease on the 2018 fig­ure

The Galloway News - - [email protected] VIEW - STU­ART GILLESPIE

De­layed dis­charge has risen dra­mat­i­cally at the re­gion’s hos­pi­tals in the last 12 months.

New fig­ures show that there were 1,648 bed-days lost to bed block­ing in Dum­fries and Gal­loway in March this year – an av­er­age of more than 50 a day.

And that’s more than 40 per cent up on the March, 2018, fig­ure of 909 bed-days.

The is­sue, which is also known as bed-block­ing, arises when pa­tients who are well enough to leave hospi­tal re­main in a bed be­cause no care plan has been de­vel­oped to con­tinue their treat­ment.

The fig­ures from In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices Di­vi­sion Scot­land show that of the 1,648 bed-days lost, 1,459 were for health and social care rea­sons. That means there wasn’t enough space in the care sys­tem to cope with them.

An NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway spokesman said there were a number of is­sues be­hind the in­crease.

He said: “It is im­por­tant to note that be­ing ready to leave hospi­tal is not the end of every­one’s jour­ney and many face on­go­ing needs which must be met at cot­tage hos­pi­tals, care homes or by care at home ser­vices.

“Some de­lays are caused by le­gal pro­cesses, adap­ta­tions to hous­ing and dis­agree­ments within fam­i­lies about what is best for rel­a­tives.

“Peo­ple will be aware of the re­cruit­ment dif­fi­cul­ties we have had in some cot­tage hos­pi­tals, and re­cruit­ment gen­er­ally within the Health and Social Care Part­ner­ship. This is not con­fined to only those with a pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tion but ex­tends into care homes and care at home ser­vices across the re­gion.

“All of our providers ei­ther have ex­pe­ri­enced or are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing re­cruit­ment dif­fi­cul­ties.

“We are also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a short­age of care home beds in spe­cific lo­ca­tions, though the over­all number of beds we have avail­able is not far away from the num­bers that we be­lieve we would need at this time.

“The var­i­ous parts of the Health and Social Care Part­ner­ship are work­ing very hard to­gether to try and ad­dress the more im­me­di­ate prob­lems.

“We con­tinue to de­velop new and in­no­va­tive ser­vices that are all aimed at keep­ing peo­ple as healthy as they can be and in­de­pen­dent as they can be for longer.

“Work is be­ing un­der­taken through the Healthy Aging Pro­gramme Board to ad­dress some of these is­sues.

“And work is on­go­ing through flow meet­ings in lo­cal­i­ties, work­ing with providers to en­sure that dis­charges take place promptly and safely.”

Beds blocked The is­sue is a prob­lem at Dum­fries In­fir­mary

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