People across north Cumbria are now spending less time in hospital
People across north Cumbria are now spending less time in hospital when they are medically fit to be discharged thanks to successful joint working by health and social care professionals.
An intensive piece of work has taken place to speed up the process of care packages being in place when patients are ready to be discharged. It has resulted in a 22% reduction in the average number of patients delayed each day since January 2018, and 50% reduction over the course of the year from April 2017 to April 2018.
Measures put in place include daily reviews of patient flow by system leaders, a hospital to home project which provides a bridging service between health and social care until a care package is put in place, and a partnership arrangement with Kingston Court Care Home to provide 15 beds to patients who require further care but no longer need acute care.
The current average number of patients in north Cumbria who are affected by this delay – termed Delayed Transfer of Care (DTOC) – is 64.3 per day down from 81.5 in January. Of this 28.1 are in the Cumberland Infirmary or West Cumberland Hospital, 29.9 in Community Hospitals and 6.3 in mental health hospitals. Reducing the time patients spend in hospital unnecessarily improves their overall wellbeing and if this reduction is sustained it is likely to save over 6,000 bed nights each year.
Professor John Howarth, Deputy Chief Executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We know that the longer patients are in hospital, the more they are at risk of infection, falls and muscle wasting, and so its beneficial for their independence and wellbeing to be discharged once they are medically fit to leave hospital. By working together with the County Council to address the delays and review where current barriers and blockages are on a daily basis, we have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of delays.”
Now the organisations are planning to reduce the delays further when eight integrated care communities are rolled out later this year. Projects such as ‘Hospital to Home’ will become part of the integrated care communities and hubs in each community will co-ordinate care for patients and provide more care in community settings.
Professor Howarth added: “We know that there is still a long way to go and further reduce delays for our patients, however these fantastic results in such a short space of time along with confirmation that north Cumbria has been confirmed as one of the 14 leading edge integrated systems gives me great confidence that we can really make a difference for our patients and communities.”
For more information about North Cumbria Health & Care’ please visit http://www.northcumbriahealthandcare.nhs.uk/
For more information on integrated care communities visit http://www.northcumbriahealthandcare.nhs.uk/making-it-happen/integrated-care-communities-iccs/