Patients block 39 beds each day at Leeds Teaching Hospitals

editorial image

Patients who are fit to be discharged are blocking 39 beds each day at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, statistics have revealed.

NHS England figures show that in February, patients at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spent a total of 1,079 days waiting to be discharged or transferred to a different care facility. That’s equivalent to three years of waiting time.

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 multidisciplinary team, which could include social or mental health care workers.

The figures show that 99.5 per cent of the delays were caused by problems within the NHS, like 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 specialist equipment at home.

Across England, an average of 4,546 beds were blocked each day in February, resulting in a total of 127,281 delayed days. The rate peaked in February 2017, when 6,660 beds were lost to bed blocking each day, but has fallen steadily since then.

At Leeds Teaching Hospitals, bed blocking has fallen significantly, from 66 beds each day in February 2018 to 39 this year.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “Thanks to better joint working between hospitals and social care teams, thousands more people were able to return home with the right support quicker after a spell in hospital this winter, freeing up hundreds of beds every day for other patients who need hospital care.”