Pirate FM News

Cornwall's bed-blocking crisis seems to be easing

Health and Wellbeing Show

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 8:52am 1st December 2017. (Updated at 11:30am 1st December 2017)

New figures seem to be a sign that Cornwall's bed-blocking crisis is easing?

The number of patients waiting in hospitals for health and social care support to be arranged so they can return home has fallen to its lowest level for 17 months.

The latest statistics show the number of people waiting for care packages from both Cornwall Council and the NHS fell from a daily average of 174 in January, to a daily average of 105 in November.

That is the lowest figure since June 2016 and although officials admit there is still more work to do, we're told Cornwall's performance is improving against a national backdrop of increasing delays.

Rob Rotchell, the Council's Cabinet Member for Adults, said the improved performance shows that actions taken by both the Council and the NHS are beginning to have a significant impact: "Delayed transfers of care is a national issue.

"Health and care systems around the country are struggling to make sure that people who are ready to return home after a hospital stay can get the care and support that they need quickly to avoid them having to wait in hospital for too long.

"We share this problem in Cornwall where the rate of delayed transfers of care has been steadily increasing since 2014.

"The whole health and social care system has been actively working together to ensure that support and care packages are put in place as quickly as possible.

"This means patients in hospital can be discharged and cared for in a community or home environment as soon as clinically appropriate, releasing beds for new patients to be admitted.

"This month's figures show that the measures we have put in place have not only stopped the annual increase, but have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of people waiting in hospital.

"This will play a key role in helping us to meet this year's winter pressures".

The Council has worked closely with health partners to use the Improved Better Care Fund provided by the Government to put a number of new schemes in place.

These include additional staff (i.e. 48 generic support workers, dedicated nursing and social care staff, trusted assessors to support care homes), improved community bed capacity, and more flexible and responsive domiciliary care to ensure that patient assessments and reablement are carried out in the most appropriate, out-of-hospital setting.

Work has also been taking place on developing specific projects to increase capacity and flow in the provider market.

These include increasing the number of packages of domiciliary care commissioned from independent providers by 8% over the past twelve months.

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