Councils should end the practice of cancelling care packages when patients enter hospital as it has the effect of extending their stay, an NHS standards chief has said.
Mark Jennings told Community Care that the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement has found evidence of care packages being unnecessarily cancelled.
Jennings, the group’s head of delivering quality and value, said: “In some areas we’ve seen people when they are admitted to hospital having their care packages stopped, which tends to extend their stay.”
Patients may face longer stays in hospital beds while they wait for the packages to be set up again. The finding came as part of a study into the efficiency and quality of NHS care in eight areas, including short-stay hospital and acute mental health care, and services for frail, older people.
Jennings said the most efficient bodies tended to provide the best care, while efficiency and value were associated with acute hospitals that had the shortest lengths of stay.
Next year, the institute is due to produce a guide showing rates and lengths of hospital admissions for particular conditions.