A rise in ‘bed blocking’ caused by doctors being unable to discharge patients continues to hit Nuneaton’s hospital. The George Eliot Hospital is not alone in issues with being unable to discharge people after being treated, but the situation has been on the rise in recent months.
A hospital board report explains that the ‘Eliot is experiencing increased delays of patients not meeting the criteria to be able to leave the organization due to lack of availability of community and social provision. One of the main reasons behind this is sickness within these services and a reduction in availability.
But the impact of these outside issues are affecting the hospital itself. One of these is the cancellation of surgery because of the reduced number of available beds.
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The situation peaked back in January, when there were over 90 patients waiting to be discharged, which accounted for 29 per cent of the bed base at the ‘Eliot. This included patients from the Leicester area.
The situation has improved, and is now around the 40 mark, but these numbers are still almost double what they were at the end of last year, which was around 25.
Because it is an NHS-wide issue, the hospital says it has been working with Warwickshire Community and Social Services and the complex discharge team to try and ease the delayed discharges.
This is to ensure that patients can not only be discharged quicker but also into the right provision – be it back home, back home with support or within social care.
In the report, Patrick Johnson, interim chief operating officer, said: “The work will continue to reduce the number further and ensure patients are discharged to the most appropriate environment in a timely manner.”