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Senior Citizens Bed-Blocking ? More Now Than Ever ... No Thanks To Social Care ! - Carers UK Forum

Senior Citizens Bed-Blocking ? More Now Than Ever ... No Thanks To Social Care !

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Soaring numbers of pensioners left " Stranded " in hospital for weeks.



Rising numbers of elderly patients are being left “stranded” in hospital for more than three weeks amid a growing social care crisis, an investigation reveals.

Last year Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, pledged to bring an end to the “long stay” culture on the wards, promising quicker assessments and more support at home for those who are well enough to be discharged.

Health officials warned that a 10-days in a hospital bed could mean pensioners “aged” by a decade, in terms of lost muscle mass.

Every NHS trust was set targets to reduce such stays - defined as “super-stranded” cases - as part of efforts to reduce pressures on hospitals.

But new research shows that 87 per cent of trusts have missed their targets - with the number enduring long stays rising since the promise was made.

Experts said the use of hospitals as long stay institutions was fuelling record numbers of cancelled operations. In the first quarter of this year, 19,969 procedures were cancelled at the last minute, for non-clinical reasons - a rise of 28 per cent in five years.

The analysis reveals that four in five such cancellations during 2018/19 occured at trusts who had missed the target to cut long stays.

It comes after an investigation by the Daily Telegraph revealed soaring numbers of patients are suffering repeat cancellations.

In total, 330,826 patients endured three-week stays in hospitals during the last financial year, Freedom of Information disclosures reveal.

Analysis by CHS Healthcare, which provides hospital discharge services, shows that 114 of 130 NHS trusts have failed to meet their targets to cut three-week stays.

Last June, health officials pledged to release at least 4,000 hospital beds by assessing patients more quickly and ensuring the right help was available in their own homes, or in care homes.

But since the pledge was made, the number of patients stuck on wards for at least three weeks has risen with 28,425 such cases in March of this year - up from 26,890 last June.

Number of NHS patients staying in hospital for at least three weeks

June 2018 : 26890

July 2018 : 26257

August 2018 : 27202

September 2018 : 25886

October 2018 : 28537

November 2018 : 27316

December 2018 : 26132

January 2019 : 29157

February 2019 : 27248

March 20192 : 8425

Source: FOI disclosures from NHS Improvement/NHS England.

Experts said the use of hospitals as long stay institutions was fuelling record numbers of cancelled operations. In the first quarter of this year, 19,969 procedures were cancelled at the last minute, for non-clinical reasons - a rise of 28 per cent in five years.

The analysis reveals that four in five such cancellations during 2018/19 occured at trusts who had missed the target to cut long stays.

It comes amid a deepening social care crisis, which Boris Johnson has pledged to fix “once and for all”.

And it follows warnings of mounting chaos across the NHS, with hundreds of patients seeing the same appointment cancelled at least 10 times.

Almost 1,000 dementia patients are being admitted to hospital as emergency cases every day, often because of a lack of help at home.

The number of cases has risen by a third in four years, official NHS figures show.

Half of pensioners who went to their local council in search of help were refused it, annual statistics show.

And earlier this month a Telegraph investigation revealed record numbers of elderly people being admitted to hospital suffering from malnutrition. The figures have tripled in the last decade, with most cases only diagnosed after pensioners were admitted to hospital for other reasons, such as a fall.

Dr Gabrielle Silver, chief executive of CHS Healthcare, said: “Although we often hear about the challenge facing the front door of hospitals - illustrated by queing ambulances - it’s critical to address issues at the backdoor.”

She urged the NHS to do more to tackle the scandal of elderly patients left “needlessly” in hospital beds for want of help to support them.

“NHS England made a commitment to improve patient care by cutting long stays in hospital and there are some effective schemes in place but overall not enough is being done,” she said.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said lack of social care meant older people were being left “trapped in hospitals” undermining their chance of recovery.

“We urge the Government to make an emergency injection of funds into social care to stave off the risk of complete collapse,” she said.

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “Patients are still bearing the brunt of the deepening crisis in our hospitals, which are now at mid-winter levels of performance all year round, and the ongoing crisis in social care.

“There’s no point promising dramatic service improvements when the NHS and local authorities lack the resources – both funding and manpower – to deliver on them.

“Given the Prime Minister’s strong words on both social care and hospitals, we have recommended that the Chancellor uses the current spending round to provide the NHS and local authorities with the wherewithal they need to turn things around. Until this happens, people will continue to end up in hospital needlessly and get stuck in hospital needlessly, with all the long-term harm to their health that implies.”

An NHS spokesperson said: “Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff tens of thousands more people were able to avoid a long hospital stay last winter than the previous year, freeing up almost 2,200 beds for others who needed them – the equivalent of building five extra hospitals.

“Building on that progress, and other work which has seen delayed discharges fall significantly over the last two years …. we have launched an ambitious campaign to ensure all patients benefit from the shortest possible stay, getting home as soon as they are fit to leave with the support they need.”
Continuing Healthcare was introduced specifically to avoid patients with high care needs being stranded in long stay wards. It's really up to the NHS to sort out their own house before blaming others!
It's not difficult to work out, surely?
As CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare is continuing to be rationed ... lack of monies and resources ... and the NHS / social care
remain separated , bed blocking will only get worse.

Interlocking threads :

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... 20rationed

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... en%20paper
none of my carees upon hospital discharge ever got a chc test despite obvious complex needs, they were sent home back to their basic care package and ended up back in hospital.

Not getting the care needed in hospital, they continued to deteriorate, many just never came home.