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Delayed discharges rise in 17 ICSs despite Barclay’s £250m fund

A high-profile £250m government intervention to free up hospital beds has so far failed to deliver any significant reduction in delayed discharges – with multiple systems instead reporting large increases.

Steve Barclay announced the fund, including £200m to buy step-down residential care beds to speed up discharges, on 9 January, following a “recovery forum” crisis summit at 10 Downing Street.

NHS England said in guidance on 13 January the funding must bring “immediate improvements”, and local leaders were again told to “maximise the impact of their areas’ allocation of the money in the run up to strikes on 6 February”. 

But according to official data, in the week the new money was announced, there was an average of 14,035 patients who did not meet the clinical “criteria to reside”, but were still waiting to leave hospital, equating to around one in seven occupied beds. The total numbers have barely changed since then, with an average of 13,975 cases reported in the week to 5 February, also representing one in seven occupied beds.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 13 February 2023


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