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‘Impossible’ to improve delayed discharges as picture worsens

The number of patients stuck in hospitals despite being ‘medically fit’ to leave has continued to increase in recent months, leading to warnings from NHS Confederation that trusts are finding it ‘impossible’ to make progress on reducing the numbers.

Official statistics for April suggest an average of 12,589 patients per day in NHS hospitals in England – 13% of all occupied beds – did not meet the “criteria to reside”. At 31 trusts, the proportion was 20% or more.

NHS England has since told local leaders to make reducing the numbers of delayed discharges an operational priority. The issue is a key factor behind the long waits in emergency care, as ward beds are taking longer to become available to accident and emergency patients.

Rory Deighton, acute lead at NHS Confederation, said targets to reduce delayed discharges “will not be met” unless the government “invests in domiciliary care wages,” amid high numbers of vacancies in the social care sector.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 1 June 2022


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