Wiltshire is bucking the national trend and seeing a major reduction in the number of people who have delayed stays in hospital, following extensive work carried out by Wiltshire Council.
Over the past year the number of people who have been delayed, in hospital, primarily due to lack of social care support, has reduced significantly, with there being no people delayed at all in certain weeks.
Recent figures show that in England the average for all delays has increased while in Wiltshire there has been a substantial decrease.
Delayed Transfer of Care is a national issue that the Department of Health has been looking to improve as high numbers of people delayed in hospital can have a big impact on hospitals being able to admit new patients.
In Wiltshire residents can access acute healthcare across three hospitals Great Western Hospital, Royal United Hospital and Salisbury Foundation Hospital, which means Wiltshire faces a constant challenge to keep delay numbers low. However, following a high number of patient delays in 2014 Wiltshire Council put a programme of work in place to ensure improvements were made. This was supported by a central government grant which helped the council make improvements such as being able to purchase care home placements for discharged patients, increase its social work capacity in acute hospital teams and increase its urgent care at home service capacity.
Wiltshire Council corporate director Maggie Rae said: “We have worked extremely hard over the last year or so because we know just what a negative knock on effect extensive hospital delays can cause and the impact this has on patients.
“The challenge we face now is to maintain and build on these improvements but we’ll continue to do what we can to ensure people are able to be discharged as quickly as possible and then continue to get high quality care.”
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult care, Keith Humphries, said: “The turnaround in only 12 months has been fantastic and it’s testament to the hard work of everyone involved.
“However, we know we face a constant challenge to keep delays low in Wiltshire but we’re confident if we continue our new way of working, which has been so successful in the last year, we will face that challenge head on.”