Hospital spends £1m on care home places to ease bed pressures

NHS hospital

Northampton General Hospital is spending £1m on care home places in order to ease winter pressures on its beds.

The hospital said it was taking the measures to ease “extreme pressure” on its bed capacity.

Saffron Cordery, director of policy and deputy chief executive, NHS Providers, said: “We are very actively working with our partners in health and social care to arrange a number of temporary placements in local care homes for patients who are medically fit to leave hospital but are waiting for a care package in their own home or placement in a residential or nursing home.

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“We are doing this because we have many more people than usual coming to A&E for care and treatment, many of whom need admitting onto a ward for treatment. We also have people who are waiting on wards to move into a residential or nursing home or for a package of care in their own home but who no longer need the level of care a hospital provides.”

Winter pressures have plunged the NHS into crisis in recent weeks with services suffering from lack of capacity. A&E waiting times were today reported to be the worst on record.

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman added: “This is an interim measure only to address the current unprecedented winter pressures and does not address the local and national shortage of both nursing home placements and home care provision in the market, which remains a long-term issue.

“We are continuing to work closely with our county health partners to find a longer term solution to our growing demand pressures.”

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