Bed-blocking drops at Norfolk hospitals

Dan GrimmerThe number of patients waiting to be discharged from hospital into community care in Norwich has 'dropped significantly' over the past few months, according to health bosses.Dan Grimmer

The number of patients waiting to be discharged from hospital into community care has 'dropped significantly' over the past few months, according to health bosses.

A reduction of up to 75pc in the number of patients who are 'bed-blocking' - when they are cleared to leave hospital by their consultant but there is no community bed or social care for them - has been attributed to NHS and social care organisations working together over the past year.

There has been closer working between NHS Norfolk, health care providers and Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services who together created a winter capacity plan to reduce bed blocking.

Julie Garbutt, chief executive of NHS Norfolk, said: 'There is no doubt that by reducing the pressure on hospitals this winter we have delivered better care for the people of Norfolk.'


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David Harwood, cabinet member for Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services, said: 'Despite a significant increase in admissions and demand, we have successfully reduced the number of patients currently waiting to be discharged from hospital awaiting social care packages or placements over the past two years.

'Nevertheless, we are not complacent and we are committed to continuing and improving the good work already under way to further reduce the number of delayed transfers of care.'

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The highest number of patients waiting for a community bed this winter has been 22 at the N&N. On many occasions the number of patients waiting for a community bed was in single figures and on some occasions there were no patients waiting, according to health bosses.

This compares to last year when the highest number of people waiting for a bed was 52.

However due to the winter vomiting bug Norovirus there were 47 delayed discharges earlier this month.

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