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Number of bedblockers down

PUBLISHED: 12:39 14 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

BEDBLOCKERS are on the decrease across Suffolk meaning more beds being freed in hospitals across the county.

More community nurses and transitional care rooms in nursing homes are both helping to move elderly people out of hospitals quicker once they have received all the medical care they need.

BEDBLOCKERS are on the decrease across Suffolk meaning more beds being freed in hospitals across the county.

More community nurses and transitional care rooms in nursing homes are both helping to move elderly people out of hospitals quicker once they have received all the medical care they need.

The news comes at a time that health ministers revealed bed blocking in the county is costing council tax payers millions of pounds each year.

Caring for an elderly person in an acute hospital bed such as Ipswich or West Suffolk Hospitals is estimated at around £100 a day.

Last years figures showed that around £5million a year was being spent on paying for bed blockers – the amount of people stuck in hospitals for the last nine months of that year was around 130.

But Suffolk County Council has said that they are under the Government targets this year for the second year running with the amount of people waiting to come out of hospital this month standing at 38 in the county – the target is 48.

This time last year the figure stood at 51.

That amount includes the county's acute hospitals – Ipswich, West Suffolk and James Paget.

Chris Lane, spokesman for the county council said that there are now more community nurses to help treat people in their homes and money was also being spent on setting up transitional care places at nursing homes.

These are for people who are well enough to leave hospital but not well enough to go home and can still receive intensive nursing.

He said: "Their whole well being is looked after and they also have occupational therapy such as encouraging them to walk again and building up their stamina.

"They also get specific training if for example they are finding it difficult to use equipment in the kitchen they can help them learn again."

It is also hoped that community nurses will also be able to go into people's homes who have been in transitional care to check that they are coping in their own homes.

Mr Lane said: "Usually these people have to come out of hospital into care homes which is what they don't want and we don't want as it uses up care home places for people who really need them."

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