A HUGE increase in Bradford patients stuck in hospital after they are ready to go home exposes a “crisis in care”, it is claimed today.
The number of “delayed days” – spent in hospital beds, because patients cannot be discharged – has soared by almost 77 per cent in just 12 months, new figures show.
Among Bradford residents, the number of days beds were blocked unnecessarily jumped from 137 in June last year to 242 last month.
Across England, there were 80,012 acute delayed days in June, up from 69,457 a year earlier – a rise of 15.2 per cent. There were 907,000 in the 12 month period.
Liz Kendall, Labour’s care spokeswoman, said many delayed discharges were caused by a “lack of NHS services in the community”, blaming cuts to district nurses and community matrons.
But she also pointed to the “record levels” of patients stuck on hospital wards because there was no social care available for them in their own homes.
Miss Kendall said: “These figures are a stark illustration of the pressure that hospitals are under and the crisis in care that has developed under David Cameron.
“Fewer elderly people are now receiving the vital services that help them get up, washed, dressed and fed so they can stay living independently at home.
“This isn’t good for them and it’s a false economy too, as increasing numbers of frail elderly people are ending up trapped in more expensive hospital beds when they don’t need to be.”
The figures cover delays after acute care only, involving surgery after severe injuries or illnesses, or to treat urgent medical conditions.
The T&A asked Bradford Council to respond to the statistics, but no-one was available.
Helen Barker, chief operating officer at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We always aim to ensure that patients who are fit to leave hospital can recover in the most appropriate place.
“In June, we saw a slight increase in patients choosing to remain in hospital while waiting for their chosen place of discharge to become vacant.”
Leeds also saw a big increase of 111.6 per cent - but both Calderdale and Kirklees bucked the trend by being down 37.8 per cent and 22.1 per cent respectively.
According to the department of health, each excess bed day costs £273, Labour said – compared with the £13.37 average cost of an hour of home care.
Local councils have warned they will be unable to meet the social care costs of an ageing population in the years to come, with savage grant cuts set to continue.