Shears - Home Support & Relocation

Shears' News: 2016

Sharing the responsibility for hospital discharge [26th May 2016]

Yet again the latest headlines report the cost of delayed hospital discharge, particularly of older people, to the NHS. In their ‘Discharging older patients from hospital report’, the National Audit Office estimate that in 2015 1.15m bed days were occupied unnecessarily by older people, costing the NHS £820m per annum. These were people who were medically fit for discharge but who were unable to leave due mainly to capacity issues in home care or care homes in their area. But while they outline a number of reasons and recommendations at a strategic level (much of which is not new), we would like to see them making a bigger effort in “educating” families as to how they can help. No-one wants their loved ones languishing in a hospital bed (at significant risk to themselves) when they don’t need to be. Yet the system remains a complicated one … and without a decent education / information and advice process, the load and therefore cost will always fall on the NHS and Local Authorities. As our population ages, this is unsustainable. Families can often make better and quicker decisions – but they need to be informed and empowered to do so. Similarly, we encourage families to get involved – ask questions, seek advice, do the research – let’s all share the responsibility to look after our older generation – who deserve so much more. For more on the the NAO report ...
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