Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 18°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Bed blockers and lack of community beds costing West Suffolk Hospital up to £2million

13:00 25 April 2014

Stephen Graves

Stephen Graves

Archant

A desperate lack of beds to care for people in the community is costing West Suffolk Hospital up to £2million, its chief executive has claimed.

Stephen Graves said that a “notable number of medically fit patients” at the hospital combined with a “considerable” lack of community beds compared with other health systems was adding to the hospital’s financial woes.

A new report says that as many as 60 of the 430 beds at West Suffolk are taken up by so-called bed blockers – patients who are medically fit, able to be cared for elsewhere, or awaiting transfer.

Community healthcare services are commissioned by the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and are currently delivered by Serco, with a CCG spokesman last night saying it was committed to commissioning community care that meets patients’ needs.

The news comes amid a growing effort to further integrate healthcare services and ease pressure on the hospital, which has been branded financially non-viable by the CCG unless changes can be made.

Mr Graves said: “Whilst not all of the patients able to leave hospital need a bed, many do.

“It is, therefore, important that there are sufficient beds outside hospital to meet the patient’s needs on discharge – step down – and also for GPs to use to avoid an acute admission.

“If the number of beds was more aligned to other health systems, then the financial benefit to this hospital would be more than £1m, and probably nearer £2m.”

Recent work by the Kings Fund found health systems in rural areas tend to have the lowest number of acute beds. While the west Suffolk area should have between 65 and 160 community beds to match services in other areas, in reality it only has 36.

“This helps explain why we have such a notable number of medically fit patients,” added Mr Graves.

The hospital is due to end this year with a deficit of around £4m, but Mr Graves said more community beds combined with a targeted 15% reduction in A&E activity would have seen it close to breaking even.

A CCG spokesman said: “The CCG is committed to delivering community health services that enable local people to receive the right level of care that meets their needs.

“With an ageing population, it is important that future community health services are focussed and shaped to meet the predicted increased demand.

“With our healthcare partners, including West Suffolk Hospital, we are developing a strategy which will mean every frail, elderly patient will receive an integrated package of support and care. This strategy is set to be finalised in June.”

Renegotiations for the provision of community healthcare in Suffolk will soon begin, with Serco’s contract due to end in October next year.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Clacton Air Show 2016 final day

Day two of the Clacton Airshow provided perfect conditions for flying off the beach – and allowed more than 100,000 visitors to watch the full display.

Police stock image

An independently chaired misconduct panel has dismissed a police constable for gross misconduct.

Stock pic

A multi-car crash at the busy Yarmouth Road/London Road junction caused severe delays in Ipswich today (August 26).

Overhead view of the proposed Hill Gallop

A major investment in Newmarket horseracing has been unveiled as a five-year project gets closer to the finishing post.

Honey Rose arriving at Ipswich Crown Court during her trial

An eye expert who missed serious abnormalities in the eyes of an “active and football loving” Ipswich schoolboy who later died has walked free from court after being given a suspended prison sentence.

Leonie Troke (centre, green top) leaving Colchester Magistrates' Court with family and solicitors

A driver who caused a crash which killed one woman and left her own five-year-old daughter paralysed from the waist down has been sentenced today.

Tracy Forshaw serving at Clacton Beer Festival 2016 on Thursday afternoon

Ale lovers are raising a glass to the Clacton Airshow at this year’s summer beer festival in the town.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24