Stats revealed by the BBC recently suggest that fewer than 1 in 10 patients in North West hospitals who are medically fit for discharge are actually able to leave due to a lack of beds in other settings. Research found that the North West was the worst region in England for hospital discharges, sitting 11% below the national average, with Stepping Hill and Northern Care Alliance Trusts being named as the two worst affected.
Pressures on adult social care and a lack of suitable community care packages mean that thousands of patients are inappropriately placed in hospitals and as a result, pressures continue to mount on A&E departments which struggle to admit new patients on to a ward due to bed shortages.
Intensive measures continue to be implemented within hospitals ahead of winter with a view to improving patient flow, however the biggest obstacle remains a lack of suitable, alternative settings such as care homes with difficulties recruiting into the care sector only adding to the problem.
Following this, we (as well as local authorities and advocacy services) are experiencing an increase in the number of formal appeals brought before the court in respect of deprivations of liberty which have been authorised in settings which, in some cases, simply aren’t suitable for the individual’s needs.