SOCIAL services need to do more to get people out of hospital and reduce A&E waiting times.
That’s the call from a patient watchdog group after The News revealed more delays in A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
Steve Taylor, manager of Healthwatch Hampshire, said: ‘This is a long-standing issue and it’s high time it gets national attention and support.
‘It’s not a case of improving the quality of care, there’s not enough supply for the demand the hospital is facing.
‘Discharging patients seems to be a problem; social services need to have a look at how they can support that further.’
Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council’s adult social care departments are in charge of putting in support for patients, either in their house or a residential home, so people can leave hospital.
But if those plans are not in place, then a person can be in hospital for longer than needed and beds are not cleared for the next wave of patients.
Councillor David Horne is chairman of the health, overview and scrutiny panel for the city council, and said he thinks there is a problem.
‘There’s friction between the hospital and social services, and social care providers,’ he said.
‘We need to see much more joined-up working and communication between them all.’
Cllr Horne said that people need to ensure they only go to A&E when necessary.
He added: ‘Some ridiculous situations end up in QA, and those people need to be educated on the other health options available.’
These thoughts were echoed by Councillor Peter Edgar, who represents the county council on the council of governors for QA.
He said: ‘The biggest problem seems to be inappropriate patients going to the wrong place.
‘There are good facilities across the county for minor injuries and illnesses to be dealt with. I’ve been saying for many years the name needs to be changed.
‘What a clinician may seen as a minor injury, patients don’t, so they don’t go to an MIU and instead to A&E.’
Yesterday we reported that some operations were cancelled.