£1.5m boost to help free up Wigan hospital beds

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

An extra £1.5m will be given to health services in Wigan to help tackle bed blocking during the winter.

The funding, announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, will help to get patients home quicker and free up hospital beds.

Bed blocking - also known as delayed transfers of care - happens when a patient is medically well enough to go home but stuck in bed while preparations are made for their care upon discharge.

The £1,592,223 was calculated based on the adult social care relative needs formula and is part of £35.6m allocated to the North West.

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux welcomed the funding and said a winter plan was already in place.

He said: “Our integrated hospital discharge team, based at Wigan Infirmary, are currently the best in the North West for getting people home quickly and this is why we are joining up our health and social care services across the borough.

“Through the Healthier Wigan Partnership we have also introduced community response teams across the borough who are taking pressure away from critical health services.

"We have invested in more step down beds which provide a temporary placement to improve independence before someone returns home from hospital. The North West Ambulance Service is also working with the teams enabling people to be safely supported at home.”

Dr Tim Dalton, chairman of NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said: “Additional funding is great news and will help the teams already working in partnership to reduce the burden on the NHS this winter.

“Working together to make decisions around discharge planning means better outcomes for residents’ health and well-being in the long-term by ensuring they get home quicker and get the right care straight from hospital.”