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Hospitals are again UK's worst for bed-blocking
OXFORDSHIRE is once again the worst area in the country for bed- blocking – and there are concerns about another winter crisis in our hospital wards.
Figures released by the Department of Health from a survey carried out on one day in September show that 166 people were stuck in hospital because their care needs could not be met elsewhere.
The latest monthly information shows Oxfordshire has regained its position in last place after its figures leapt by 22 and Birmingham’s narrowly dropped by two.
The figure of 166 is also an increase of 22 on the figure for last September, prompting concerns this winter could be worst than the last.
It comes after Oxfordshire was briefly overtaken by Birmingham as the worst authority for delays in releasing people from hospital to send them home or into care.
Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, of patient watchdog Healthwatch Oxfordshire, said: “I’m amazed that they have gone up. It’s extremely worrying.
“Winter hasn’t even started, so I do worry about what will happen when it does hit us.”
The new figures come after health bosses admitted that a £2.5m scheme to combat bed-blocking had failed.
Launched in April, it aimed to have patients sent home from hospital to wait for social service assessments rather than taking up beds on wards.
But in more than 100 cases, patients were instead sent to care homes to wait for assessment and, of these, just five did not take up a permanent placement. The scheme was scrapped in August.
Lorraine Foley, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group director of commissioning and partnerships, said: “We are working very hard behind the scenes with our health and social care partners looking at the causes of this ongoing, complex issue in Oxfordshire.
“Numbers of people delayed in hospital when ready to leave at any one time cannot be put down to a single factor, as multiple reasons are involved in the process of them being delayed. Our work includes looking at other areas of the country that have found solutions to reducing numbers of delayed discharge.”
The CCG refused to comment on whether the rise was linked to the failure of the scheme or whether County Hall cuts would have an impact.
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