Norfolk's largest hospital has some of the worst-bed blocking in the country, new figures have revealed.

Data published by NHS England shows the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust has the second highest number of people waiting more than 14 days to be discharged due to waits for a bed in a community unit. 

Norwich Evening News: The trust has been found to have the second-worst bed-blocking in the countryThe trust has been found to have the second-worst bed-blocking in the country (Image: Newsquest)

A total of 56 N&N patients per day are affected by the delays, ranking the trust behind only University Hospitals Sussex (85).

"Hospital discharge needs to be done in a timely and safe way," said Alex Stewart, chief executive at Healthwatch Norfolk. 

"And we understand there can be blockages in the care pipeline.

Norwich Evening News: Healthwatch Norfolk chief executive Alex StewartHealthwatch Norfolk chief executive Alex Stewart (Image: Healthwatch Norfolk)

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"Some patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have told us they felt they were on a ward for too long and were keen to be discharged.

"There is no doubt hospital staff are working hard caring for patients and there has been innovative work done using technology that means some patients can be monitored and helped at home where appropriate."

Last year, N&N chief executive Sam Higginson told its board of directors the number of people stuck in wards that were medically fit to go home had trebled since pre-pandemic levels.

This accounted for one in five of the hospital's beds. 

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Norwich Evening News: The Norfolk and Norwich University HospitalThe Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (Image: Nick Butcher)

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"All health and care organisations are working together to do all we can to ensure that people can be discharged from hospital as soon as they are well enough to leave," said a spokesman for Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System - which is responsible for NHS performance and finances across the region.

"The flow of patients through our hospitals and discharging people when they are well enough to recover at home is key to the resilience of the entire health and care system in Norfolk and Waveney.

"Health and care staff continue to work extremely hard to prioritise this work and provide the best care possible to patients."