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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.