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Bed blocking blamed for 'major incident' in Gloucestershire

A Gloucestershire MP has asked the Health Secretary to ensure that patients are discharged from hospital more quickly after a "major incident" was declared in the county earlier this week.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Conservative member for the Cotswolds, raised the issue with the health secretary after so-called "bed blocking" was blamed for a lack of available beds at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General hospitals.

Steps to reduce delays after Gloucestershire bed shortages

A "major incident" declared over bed shortages in two Gloucestershire hospitals is over.

On monday Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS foundation Trust said it had 51 patients needing beds which it didn't have, in both Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal.

But a spokesman for the trust says that the situation has now eased and steps are being taken to reduce delays.

The Health and Care Community has a collective responsibility to work positively together in the interests of the patient. Entering into a blame game serves the interests of no one.

A number of steps are being taken to reduce delays in patients leaving hospital, provide more care in the patient’s own home and improve the patient experience.

– Clinical Chair, Dr Helen Miller

These steps include:

  • Reviewing the timing of ward rounds by senior staff – including earlier in the day and at weekends.
  • Additional investment in the Integrated Discharge Team. The team of nurses and social workers make sure everything is in place for patients to leave hospital in a safe and timely way.
  • Investment in a short stay ward for patients who require a 24-48 hour hospital stay.
  • Developing the Older People’s Assessment and Liaison service – reducing the need for admission to hospital.
  • Working to ensure maximum bed availability at Community Hospitals, including Stroud, through the recruitment of nursing staff and a revised discharge policy.
  • Investment of £3.9 million in Integrated Community Teams – providing intensive support to patients in their own homes.
  • Working with the Ambulance Service so more patients can receive care at home or in the community – including expert advice from GPs, mental health professionals and specialist community teams.

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Health partners commit to finding a resolution to hospital concerns

Gloucestershire’s key health organisations have made a commitment to resolve the issues raised over hospital discharges.

A meeting held by the county’s health and care scrutiny committee was called today following serious concerns about statements by Dr Frank Harsent, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, about the time taken to discharge patients.

Representatives from the county council, clinical commissioning group, care service NHS trust and Hospitals NHS foundations trust all met to discuss the issues and the underlying problems that led to Dr Harsent’s claims.

At the close of the meeting, the chairman of the health and scrutiny committee requested that each partner organisation meet to agree a way forward.

Achieving the best outcome of patients must be our top priority. If there is an issue of bed blocking, then we all need to play our part in resolving it. This isn’t about blame to any one organisation; it’s about finding a solution.

– Steve Lydon, Chairman of the Heath and Care Scrutiny Committee

MP tweets about NHS crisis meeting

Gloucestershire hospitals ask people to only come in if it's an emergency

Following the major incident that was declared yesterday, where 51 patients throughout Gloucestershire were without hospital beds, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement asking people to only come into the emergency department for serious injuries or illness.

We would ask patients to think carefully about whether or not their condition or illness is an emergency, as they may be preventing others with life threatening conditions from getting immediate care.

An emergency is a critical or life threatening situation, which may include loss of consciousness, severe breathing difficulties, deep wounds, severe chest pain or heavy loss of blood.

– Dr Tom Llewellyn, Emergency Department Consultant

Major incident declared in Gloucestershire hospitals

A major incident was declared in Gloucestershire yesterday owing to a lack of hospital beds.

51 patients needed beds at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital.

The shortage was revealed today during a crisis meeting between health care providers across Gloucestershire. They met to discuss claims over “bed-blocking” patients who prevent others from being admitted.

A combination of factors have been blamed for “bed-blocking”, including administration changes to social services, a lack of suitable home-care packages and issues with transferring patients to community hospitals.

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Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health service told to improve

The body that runs NHS mental health services in Avon and Wiltshire has been told it must improve in thirty-two different areas, including patient safety.

It follows a planned inspection by the regulator, the CQC, which highlighted staff shortages at Fromeside, unsuitable premises at Blackberry Hill, both in Bristol, and poor layout at Hillview Lodge in Bath.

The trust insists improvements are being made.

Iain Tulley is from Avon and Wilts Mental Health Trust:

Bristol MP calls for urgent meeting over GP closure

Dawn Primarolo says she was 'shocked' at the news of the surgery closure Credit: ITV West

Bristol South MP, Dawn Primarolo, is calling for an urgent meeting to ensure a GP's practice in the city with six thousand patients stays open. The two doctors who run St Martin's Surgery in Knowle, are leaving due to stress and because they can't recruit staff.

The NHS says it is looking at an interim service while it finds a solution.

Practice can't recruit enough staff to cope

St Martin's Surgery in Knowle has written to its 6,000 patients telling them that their two doctors have tendered their resignations.

The GPs, Dr Hard and Dr Houghton, say they've been unable to recruit new doctors to replace those who have left.

Dr Holly Hardy says they are now so overworked they can't cope, and the surgery will be closed in September unless they can find new practice GPs.

She says "the decision to walk away was not one which has been taken lightly."

Dr Hardy says NHS England has been as supportive as possible but there aren't enough staff in the profession to fill jobs.

NHS England says it has requested 'expressions of interest' in the practice and received some enquiries.

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