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'I'm well enough to leave hospital - but I can't'

"It would be much better if I was out there than in here," said Roger.

The 69-year-old looked wistfully across Newport from the window next to his bed at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Wales.

He has been here for three weeks after being admitted with an infection and although he is now well enough to leave, and desperate to do so, he can't.

Roger has cerebral palsy and the impact of his recent illness means he needs extra care to be arranged before he can safely go home.

Roger is not alone.

"At least a quarter of patients in our care of the elderly beds are in a similar position," explained Helen Price, a senior nurse at the hospital.

"It is very much a waiting game for that care to be available," she said.

Hospitals in Wales are fuller than ever, according to the latest statistics. In the final week of January more than 95% of all acute beds in the Welsh NHS were occupied, which is the highest figure ever recorded.

Paul Underwood, who manages urgent care in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said there are well over 350 patients medically fit enough to leave hospital.

"Roughly a third of patients do not need to be accommodated on those sites and that's extremely difficult," he said.

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Source: BBC News, 16 February 2023


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