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Bed blocking figures for Sherwood Forest Hospitals revealed by NHS England

Patients block 27 beds a day at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, NHS England figures show.

In October, patients at the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust spent a total of 841 days waiting to be discharged or transferred to a different care facility.

That is equivalent to more than two years of waiting time.

Newark Hospital.. (4147367)
Newark Hospital.. (4147367)

Figures show that most of the delays were caused by problems with the NHS, such as waiting for a bed to open up in a rehabilitation centre or mental health hospital.

The remainder were caused by problems with social care, such as delays in setting up community care or special equipment at home.

A delayed transfer of care occurs when a patient remains in a bed after being officially declared safe for transfer by both a doctor and a multi-disciplinary team, which could include social or mental health care workers.

The figures do not include delays in transferring a patient between wards, or from one acute hospital to another.

Independent healthcare charity the King’s Fund said that the process is sometimes lengthy, and there could be many more people who were safe to leave hospital but had not been officially signed off.

Delayed transfers of care have the greatest impact on elderly patients. According to the NHS, for a person over 80 a hospital stay of more than ten days can lead to ten years of muscle ageing.

Across England, an average of 4,737 beds a day were blocked in October, representing roughly 4.3% of all occupied beds. The Government’s target is 3.5%.

This resulted in 146,861 delayed days, equivalent to just over 400 years of lost time.

The national rate peaked in February 2017 at a rate of 6,660 beds per day, but has decreased fairly steadily over the past year.

The report, Beyond Barr-iers, by the Care Quality Commission, (CQC) cautioned that trusts focusing on trying to hit government targets might end up delivering lower quality care as a result. The CQC said it was recommending a more joined-up approach.

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