QA Hospital set to drop deal with web system that could ease ‘bed-blocking’

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Queen Alexandra Hospital

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  • Queen Alexandra Hospital set to pull out deal with web system Care Quest
  • System acts as a bridge between hospital and care provider to help ease ‘bed-blocking’
  • System says parties are remaining in dialogue over a deal
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PROPOSALS for a new system which aims to ease ‘bed-blocking’ at Queen Alexandra Hospital have suffered a setback.

The Cosham site looks to have pulled out of a deal with Care Quest, an independent web-based system that acts as a bridge between a hospital and a care provider to free up beds.

I am disappointed that the QA has decided not to be a pilot site for, in my view, the most promising solution to booking and better care package planning, and hope they have an alternative plan

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP

The idea is that it matches patients with firms that provide care so care packages can be agreed sooner and people can leave hospital more quickly than at present.

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, had helped on the deal – which would have looked to ease bed blocking at the congested hospital in the long term.

She said: ‘I am disappointed that the QA has decided not to be a pilot site for, in my view, the most promising solution to booking and better care package planning, and hope they have an alternative plan.

‘I will be seeking a meeting to discuss this with them. Unnecessary stays in hospital are bad for patient recovery and we must work to ensure care at home, or a good care home place is available when it is needed.’

The MP had pointed to the new system as a ‘very clever’ way to ease ‘bed-blocking’ at the site during the snap general election campaign where it emerged the hospital had missed out on £7.6m worth of government funds.

The Department of Health has given the QA £855,000 to help it prepare for the winter.

A spokesperson for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs the QA said: ‘We are most grateful for the opportunity to have been able to meet with Care Quest and to fully review their innovative product. We believe that it is better suited for use by those that are responsible for providing packages of care rather than an acute hospital trust.’

Natalie Dobson, director at Care Quest said the parties remain in dialogue to determine if it is ‘the right solution’.

She said: ‘We are really excited by the opportunities that our care matching web platform offers for both the NHS and the wider community at large.

‘It is early days and we look forward to ongoing conversations and partnership working as we move forward to refine and adapt the offer.’

The News reported last month that Jack Lovelock spent 26 days in hospital despite being fit to go home, because a care package had not been agreed.