Victory in bed blocking battle

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

An extra focus is set to be directed on bed-blockers at Wigan Infirmary as part of a health shake-up across Greater Manchester.

Borough health bosses have already been excelling at tackling delays in care transfers.

Eighty-one more patients were discharged directly home from hospital, rather into residential care, in 2016-17.

Their efforts will be bolstered by new discharge policies from the wider Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

One key aim is to combine a number of pre-release checks, for social care, therapy, nursing care and equipment cover, into one “trusted assessment”.

In a report Cara Pursall, HSCP’s urgent and emergency care programme manager, said: “The current process for undertaking assessments is largely inefficent and patients undergo a number of assessments, which can waste already scarce resources and can cause additional distress to patients and families.”

The regime requires acute and community health providers to work with clinical commissioners and councils to sign formal agreements to share good practice and costs.

The improvements locally have come about through the work of an intregrated discharge team, overseen by the Healthier Wigan Partnership.

Rebecca Murphy, partnership director, said: “We want residents to be able to remain at home, with a smooth discharge from hospital and the right services wrapped around them. We are tackling the challenge of delayed discharges of care in Wigan by working together.

“It’s all part of our integrated discharge team’s passion for reducing the number of patients who have completed their medical treatment, and are ready to be discharged.

“But it’s not just us. It’s a ‘whole systems approach’ which means bringing together staff from a range of organisations and managed together in one place to provide a joined-up response for our local population.”