Numbers of bedblockers falls in county

BEDBLOCKING patients are being reduced in the county, it has been revealed.The announcement comes after MPs today blasted as "intolerable" the amount of older patients still waiting too long to be discharged from hospital across the country.

BEDBLOCKING patients are being reduced in the county, it has been revealed.

The announcement comes after MPs today blasted as "intolerable" the amount of older patients still waiting too long to be discharged from hospital across the country.

A report from the Public Accounts Committee provided more evidence that it was frail and vulnerable older people who were having to wait longer for the appropriate care.

In Suffolk 74 people are currently waiting to be discharged to a place where they can be looked after.

It marks a drop in figures from July when more than 100 people were stuck in acute hospitals.

There has been a loss of 27 independent care homes and 443 beds in the county with care home owners complaining that Social Services are not paying them enough to look after people.

Most Read

But Terry Green, portfolio holder for adult care and health services said improvements are being made to the system.

He said: "We are encouraged by the figures and will be disappointed if after what we are doing they don't go down further."

Mr Green said that although some care homes have closed down in the county, Suffolk County Council will not close down anymore of its own homes.

He said two in Southwold and Holbrook are being replaced by very sheltered housing schemes.

Also Social services are doing work to look after people in their own homes.

But a private company has had to be brought in to provide staff to look after people as Suffolk County Council could not find enough people.

Mr Green said: "We could not get the staff to do it but this company has managed to get 40 people where we could not even get two or three."

Ipswich Primary Care Trust is also in the process of building a new centre in Ravenswood which will provide intermediary care for patients.

Todays report stated that thousands of people across the country are stuck in hospitals everyday even though they are well enough to leave, costing the NHS £170million a year.

And health minister Stephen Ladyman said that was why the Delayed Discharges Act which forces social services to find patients places within a certain amount of time – of they don't they have to start paying the health service so it can recoup its costs.

Mr Green said the Act was of a concern to social services.

He said: "The act will affect us considerably but we are working very closely with the hospitals.

"Any money that goes into the health service will stay within the ring fence and will go into improving services anyway."

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said: "There has been a significant decrease at Ipswich Hospital by everyone working hard together.

"But we are not being complacent and we know there is always room for improvement."

PANEL

West Suffolk Hospital down from 32 to 26

Ipswich Hospital down from 51 to 38

James Paget down from 4 to 2

Acute total down from 94 to 74

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter