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‘NHS factors’ lead to more than a third of delayed discharges

More than a third of delayed discharges for long-stay patients are being caused by factors generally associated with the NHS, according to new data obtained by HSJ.

Delayed discharges from hospital are often blamed on issues around social care, but figures for the nine months to January, for patients who have been in hospital for at least 21 days, suggest a significant proportion are due to NHS-related delays.

The most common reason is waiting for rehabilitation beds in a community hospital or similar facility, which accounts for 23% of total delayed discharges, based on daily averages.

Other reasons generally associated with NHS-related issues included delays around medical decisions (4%), therapist decisions (4 per cent), transfers to another acute site (2%), and diagnostic tests (1%).

On top of this, a further 12% of the causes were at least partly associated with the NHS, such as delays relating to transfer of care hubs, which are generally jointly run with councils.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 9 February 2023


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