Delayed transfers from hospitals reduced in Derbyshire

12 January 2018

Increased social care support has played a key role in helping to reduce the numbers of hospital patients across Derbyshire having to stay in hospital longer than they need to.

Latest available figures showed the numbers of people taking up beds that no longer needed them were at their lowest since 2015 because we were able to provide appropriate support.

Statistics released from the Department of Health showed 111 bed days were lost while patients were waiting for care packages or other social care support in November.

It meant that for the third consecutive month delayed discharges experienced by Derbyshire residents were the lowest of any county council in England.

In September and October, the numbers of bed days lost because Derbyshire patients were waiting for social care support before being discharged from hospitals was 334 and 319 respectively.

In 2016, the numbers of bed days lost across Derbyshire due to social care delays in September was 477, in October the figure was 462 and in November it was 574.

Our Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Councillor Jean Wharmby said:

"It is a constant challenge and relies on us working with a range of partner organisations to provide the best possible care to Derbyshire residents.

"I also recognise that due to the way these figures are reported they have yet to cover the busy Christmas period where our staff, together with NHS colleagues, were under extreme pressure.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone working in health and social care across Derbyshire for their unerring support during this challenging time.

"We are not complacent and remain committed to providing the best possible care for older people across Derbyshire so they can lead independent, fulfilled and dignified lives."

An extra £18m funding from the Government's improved Better Care Fund has enabled us to work alongside partners in the NHS to:

  • Provide extra social work support at weekends and bank holidays at Royal Derby, Chesterfield Royal and Stepping Hill hospitals to help people return home sooner.

  • Increase the numbers of social workers working within discharge teams at Royal Derby and Chesterfield Royal hospitals to ensure older people get the support they need when they return home.

  • Provide dedicated social worker support to community hospitals across the county to help discharge Derbyshire residents.

  • Recruit additional social workers in the High Peak to offer support to Derbyshire residents ready to return home from hospitals outside the county, such as Macclesfield and Stepping Hill.

  • Provide joint training for social care and NHS staff on new approaches to help patients leave community hospitals.

Councillor Wharmby added:

"All of this additional support has enabled us to ensure that care packages and social care support is available for people to leave hospital and regain their independence.

"We remain committed to ensuring people don't have to be in hospital any longer than they need to be."