Bed blocking: QA not a care home, says NHS trust

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Queen Alexandra Hospital

Portsmouth NHS organisation promotes Stay Well This Winter campaign

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MEMBERS of a board which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital feel they are not getting enough help from partner agencies to tackle the number of medically-fit-for-discharge patients at the Cosham facility.

Speaking at the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust board meeting, non-executive director Mike Attenborough-Cox and interim chairman Mark Nellthorp questioned the commitment of other agencies in helping get patients out of hospital when their treatment finishes.

It comes as QA Hospital has failed to meet its target for the number of patients needlessly taking up beds.

At its last board meeting, the trust wanted to see the number reduced to 110 by the middle of this month.

Instead, the figure is around 235 and is unlikely to drop by 115 in a week.

Mr Attenborough-Cox said: ‘We are not a care home. It is up to our partners to provide them with the care they need after hospital.

‘We should give them deadlines to help solve the issue and then bill them for it.

‘They are costing this hospital money and it is unacceptable to go on month after month like this.

‘They are dragging their feet and we must make it clear it is unacceptable.’

As previously reported in The News, QA Hospital has lost out on £7.8m on funding from the Sustainability and Transformation Fund for missing their targets surrounding medically-fit-for-discharge patients.

Mr Nellthorp added: ‘Agencies in Portsmouth have done a huge amount to help people in the city — we have to give them their due. They are doing great things. But some of our other partners are not acting at a sense of urgency and we are not getting what we want from them.

‘If our hospital is full, patients are on wards that are not suitable for them and that is a great risk.

‘It does concern me that as we approach the deadlines we are an awful lot closer to where we started than where we want to go to.

But Mark Cubbon, the chief executive of the trust, said their partners were keen to see changes.

‘Our partners are committed to making the improvements.’

we have been talking about and the trajectories to see the numbers going down,’ he said.