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Delayed transfers of care at highest in five years


11 December 2015

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The number of days that medically fit patients spend in hospital due to delayed transfers of care are at their highest since the figures started being recorded five years ago, rocketing up by 12,000 in one month, new NHS England data revealed.

The number of days that medically fit patients spend in hospital due to delayed transfers of care are at their highest since the figures started being recorded five years ago, rocketing up by 12,000 in one month, new NHS England data revealed.

The Nuffield Trust said in a statement: “These bald statistics represent many thousands of patients, often frail and elderly, who have finished their medical treatment but can’t leave hospital because there isn’t enough support for them to go back to their own homes, or even to care homes.”

The think-tank deemed these latest statistics “extremely worrying, but not surprising” due to the cuts of local councils social care budgets up to £1.7 billion since 2010, according to the Trust’s research.

Moreover, “just 3.6% of patients took up 37% of total bed capacity in hospitals in England last year. Many in this group would have been far better cared for away from the hospital once their treatment was finished,” the think-tank added.

Just last month Monitor estimated that delayed transfers of care – where medically fit patients cannot leave hospital because the care they need from local authorities or others is not yet in place – had cost NHS providers £270m over the first six months of this financial year.

Similarly, the Nuffield Trust concluded that delayed transfers are also “fast becoming a big financial problem for the NHS”.

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