People with complex needs left behind

Attempts to reduce delayed discharge levels could lead to older
people most in need being left in hospital, an influential group of
MPs has warned.

Research from the House of Commons public accounts committee states
that despite a halving in delayed discharges since 1997 – they
currently stand at 3,500 over-75 year olds – almost a third of
those affected remain in hospital for more than a month and are
often those with complex needs.

It urges the Department of Health to analyse this figure further
and calls on it to devise strategies to help discharge these

Jonathan Ellis, health and social care policy manager at Help the
Aged, said that despite the overall fall in the number of delayed
discharges, it is still the most frail and vulnerable older people
who wait the longest for appropriate services.

“The NHS now runs the risk of prioritising those with simpler
needs, rather than those whose needs are more complex,” he added.

Meanwhile, a review of a scheme to reduce delays in hospital
discharges piloted by a private company in Worcestershire, Carehome
Selection, found that 97 per cent of “customers” rated the service
as excellent or very good.

The service works by providing support to families choosing care
homes by offering them more information, up-to-date bed
availability and accompanied visits to care homes. 

Ensuring the Effective Discharge of Older Patients from NHS
Acute Hospitals

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