Mixed picture for authorities as QA bed-blocking issues continue

BLOCKED BEDS While the picture is better in Portsmouth, the Hampshire picture is not as good 
Picture: Shutterstock - posed by models
BLOCKED BEDS While the picture is better in Portsmouth, the Hampshire picture is not as good Picture: Shutterstock - posed by models
Paige Howitt

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QA Hospital is being hamstrung by the county council in its bid to reduce bed-blocking.

At any one time the hospital has about 250 patients who are ready to leave – but who are taking up beds as they are waiting for care plans to finalised.

We are trying to learn from the Portsmouth experiences and replicate them in Hampshire.

Paul Thomas

Bed-blocking has knock-on effects on the rest of the hospital and can lead to delays in A&E as patients cannot be moved from casualty on to a ward if beds a not free.

Now it has been revealed that Hampshire County Council faces a ‘particular challenge’ with providing home care.

During a Portsmouth health overview and scrutiny panel (Hosp) meeting it was revealed that QA patients living in Hampshire – not including Portsmouth and Southampton – count for 80 per cent of the patients considered well enough to leave hospital.

Of the 250 patients who are ready to be discharged, about 200 of them live under areas controlled by Hampshire County Council and the other 50 live in Portsmouth.

At the meeting Paul Thomas, integrated discharge service lead for Portsmouth and south east Hampshire, said a recruitment drive and new plans had seen Portsmouth reduce its number from 105 in June to around 57 this month.

‘While the picture is better in Portsmouth, the Hampshire picture is not as good,’ he said.

‘There are patients waiting for domiciliary care which is a particular challenge in Hampshire.

‘Portsmouth has increased its recruits and has started a different way of working, that has reaped benefits for the city.

‘We are trying to learn from the Portsmouth experiences and replicate them in Hampshire.’

Mr Thomas added to enable flow through QA Hospital, there needs to be around 108 patients considered medically-fit-for-discharge.

He said if Hampshire sees a similar reduction in patient numbers as Portsmouth, QA Hospital would have around 120 patients well enough to leave –just above the 108 target.

During the Hosp meeting, Councillor Philip Raffaelli asked if Hampshire was doing as much as it could to reduce the number.

In response Rob Haigh, director of emergency care at QA Hospital, said: ‘Hampshire is a bigger area and they are trying to recruit but they have faced challenges to do so.

‘As a consequence, they are taking longer to sort our care packages and ensure they have the domiciliary staff to care for the people coming out of hospital.’