QA Hospitals wants to half number of patients medically fit but stuck in beds

THE number of people fit for discharge waiting in Queen Alexandra Hospital should be halved by September.

Friday, 7th July 2017, 6:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:32 am
Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth

That is the target that has been set by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) which runs the Cosham site.

During a meeting of the trust’s board, members were told currently there are on average 236 people considered medically fit for discharge waiting in a hospital bed, known as ‘bed-blocking’.

But Dr Rob Haigh, director of emergency care, said they wanted to see that figure drop to 110 by the middle of September. Addressing the board during yesterday’s meeting Dr Haigh said: ‘In May, the average for patients medically fit for discharge was 257 but we have had some success in reversing that and it is now at 234.

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‘There are programmes and specific work being done to reduce that number and we are getting support from both Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council.

‘We have got weekly trajectories we are trying to match and at the moment we are slightly behind the weekly target of 226.’

PHT are working with Solent NHS Trust to try to get more patients using their services rather than staying at QA.

Dr Haigh added: ‘We are discussing plans to extend our services with Solent for patients with simpler home care packages.’

But Mark Nellthorp, the interim chairman of the trust board, questioned if they would be able to meet the target.

He said: ‘I am concerned about the number of medically fit for discharge patients. The slight reduction is a step in the right direction but it is a very small step.

‘This isn’t just about the numbers, being stuck in a hospital bed has an effect on the patients.

‘It reduces the level of care we are able to give the patients so we must get to the stage where we can dramatically reduce this figure.’

Mr Nellthorp asked if Dr Haigh could guarantee they would reach the 110 figure by September.

He answered: ‘I am as confident as I possible can be.’

As previously reported in The News QA Hospital has had problems with ‘bed-blocking’ in the last few months with one patient Jack Lovelock spending 26 days in hospital despite being fit to go home.

It also saw the trust lose out on £7.6m of extra Sustainability and Transformation funding from the government after they failed to meet their trajectories.