Troubleshooter to tackle bed-blocking

Humphries, the new head of the government’s health and social care
“change agent” team, says the sector can view him as something of a

exclusively to Community Care, he said that his team will
be modelled on the adoption and permanence task force and its aim
was to reduce bed-blocking in specific areas by 2004. “The team is
expected to make a real impact in reducing the number of people not
being discharged from hospital,” said Humphries, currently director
of social services and housing at Herefordshire Council and chief
executive of Herefordshire Health Authority. He takes on his new
role in January.

problem of delayed discharge, he said, was the result of social
services budgets not containing enough to deal with people coming
out of hospital; the capacity of intermediate care and nursing home
provision; and how health and social services departments use their

“At the
moment it is too easy for hospitals to blame social services but it
is not always their fault. It is about trying to take a whole view
of the system,” he added.

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