Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 2°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.

shares

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.

shares

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

Man admits sexual assault

Police have expressed their relief that a woman who was sexually assaulted in her own home will not need to re-live her experiences during a trial, as her attacker admitted to the crime.

Police road closure.

A van driver has been rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in a life-threatening condition after a crash near Higham.

Traffic. Library image.

The A12 northbound has reopened at Witham after a six vehicle crash.

Colchester United v Notts County FC.
Sky Bet League One.
Kayleigh Osborne in action for Col U.

Colchester United 0 Notts County 1

Halstead sign

A man suffered a serious injury to his groin after being held in a headlock by one man and kicked up to 20 times by his companion, it has been alleged.

Suffolk’s Year of Cycling launch event at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds. No names.

‘Get on your bike and get riding’ was the message sent out to the people of Suffolk at today’s launch of the county’s Year of Cycling.

Cigarette ends

A Mount Bures man has been ordered to pay almost £1,000 for dropping a cigarette butt.

Assistant chief constable David Skevington, police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, Dr Emma Bond, and councllor Colin Spence with the report on Understanding Domestic Abuse in Suffolk.

A report highlighting the graphic experiences of domestic abuse survivors will lead to an enquiry looking at how services supporting victims can be improved.

The incident happened on the A14

Police are investigating after goods valued around £15,000 were stolen from a lorry parked beside the A14.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train.

Some rail services between Ipswich and Norwich are being replaced by a bus this evening due to emergency engineering works.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages