Portsmouth panel questions number of medically-fit-for-discharge patients in QA Hospital

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Queen Alexandra Hospital
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THE number of people considered medically-fit-for-discharge at Queen Alexandra Hospital was the main topic at a scrutiny committee meeting.

Portsmouth health overview and scrutiny panel (Hosp) had an update on the patients in the Cosham facility awaiting care packages.

Currently there is an average of around 250 patients – a figure Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust was hoping to see reduced to around 110 by the middle of this month.

But during the meeting, after concerns were raised by Hosp chairman Leo Madden on the figure staying the same, the panel were told the length of stays had decreased.

Paul Thomas, integrated discharge service lead for Portsmouth and south east Hampshire, said: ‘The patient numbers have not changed significantly although work within the Portsmouth system has seen the number of city patients reduced by quite a lot.

‘Before when we had 250 patients it equated to a loss of 4,000 bed days. But now, even though we have same number of patients the loss of bed days is around 2,700.

‘That is significant because it means the patients stay in hospital as medically-fit-for-discharge are shorter.’

As previously reported in The News, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and its partner agencies Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council, Solent NHS Trust and Southern Health NHS Trust started the integrated discharge service last year.

Its aim was to see better partnership work to get people out of hospital and under the care of community teams.

Mr Thomas added: ‘We have to work with our system partners to get QA Hospital working efficiently and effectively.

‘That cannot be done in isolation and it is wrong to think this is something that cannot be done by QA alone.’

Rob Haigh, director of emergency care, added during yesterday’s meeting that getting people out of hospital was key to their health.

He said: ‘The longer people are in hospital as medically-fit-for-discharge, the more care they need when they leave.

‘If we can get them out within three days of them being well enough, they will need less care in the community.’