Patients are spending an extra day in hospital on average when admitted as an emergency compared to before covid, consuming millions of additional ‘bed days’, HSJ analysis has found.
The finding explains in part why fewer people are being treated in hospitals, but more resources are being consumed to do so. This has prompted concerns about an apparent big drop in productivity.
NHS England chief finance officer Julian Kelly told HSJ the marked increase in length of stay meant hospitals needed to focus on “discharge and decongest” of emergency care, to help recover activity rates and productivity in elective care. The NHS also needs to create more elective capacity insulated from emergency care, he said, and for “local leadership [to] keep people focused”.
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Source: HSJ, 19 December 2022