Hospitals in the West Midlands are notifying elderly patients that they must leave hospital within three weeks of being declared medically fit or face eviction, according to a report in today’s The Telegraph.
NHS trusts in Northamptonshire are adopting a similar stance, while trusts in Yorkshire are investigating how to deal with delayed discharges caused when elderly patients cannot find a care home place or will not be taken care of by families.
Official NHS figures show delayed discharge numbers rising to more than 220,000 days per year for patients unable or unwilling to find a care home.
Hospital trade paper Health Service Journal analysis says that the highest levels of bed blocking are seen in areas of the country where care home fees by private operators are highest.
Delayed discharges in Oxfordshire are three times higher than the national average, and has the fourth highest care home fees, according to CQC data analysed by Trustedcare.co.uk.
Analysis of the same CQC data suggests Oxfordshire is third worst in the country for the quality of its care.
Areas with the lowest levels of bed-blocking are in poorer parts of the country where care home fees are most likely to be paid for by local authorities that recognise the cost to the taxpayer of a care home bed is far lower than a hospital bed.