Latest figures show that the number of people who are medically fit to leave hospital but are delayed discharge as they need social care support are at the lowest they have been for five years
Last year Dudley Council was awarded £13.9million from the government’s Improved Better Care Fund to spend over three years to tackle some of the most pressing issues in health and adult social care.
In this first year, the council committed to spending £7million introducing a package of measures to support older people to leave hospital or a ‘step-down’ setting as soon as they are medically fit.
These are already having the desired impact with a noticeable reduction in the number of cases of delayed transfer of care. This means beds are freed up quicker for people who need them most.
Figures from last week show that there was only one case of delayed transfer in the hospital, compared to more than 400 in August last year and only 12 from ‘step down’ settings compared to more than 100 in August last year.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for adult social care, said:
Thanks to this investment we have introduced a raft of measures that are having a big impact on our health and social care services.
We are now in a better position to move people through the system and discharge them from hospital or a step down setting when they are at their strongest and their independence is at its peak. Not only is this giving the patient a much better experience but it’s also improving the flow of discharge and freeing up much needed beds in our hospital and step down settings.
It is encouraging to already see such positive results. The NHS has also acknowledged this investment as a key factor helping people get timely access to hospital care when needed
Measures introduced include an emergency response team, which offers support to people who have gone to the hospital’s accident and emergency department in need of urgent social care support. It helps them to return home and prevent unnecessary admission into hospital.
There’s a new community response team, which supports the ambulance service when responding to emergency calls by offering crisis support to help people stay in their own home.
The council has also introduced length of stay targets to reduce delays of hospital discharges.
These measures along with other incentives, such as new technologies, increased levels of care at home and recruiting more social workers to prevent inappropriate admissions to hospital, have had a significant impact within a short period of time.