FEARS have been voiced that the local health trust ‘could be losing the battle’ after figures showed both the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and the Worcestershire Royal were running at above 100 per cent bed occupancy in January.
The comments came from the deputy chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) John Burbeck after a board meeting heard that patients were staying longer in hospital, blue light ambulance cases were up on last year, and the trust had missed it’s four hour A&E waiting time target for the 16th month in a row. Emergency admissions were up 14.4 per cent compared to January 20155, an additional 546 patients.
Figures also showed that in January 2016 thee were more than 130 patients medically fit for discharge or with delayed transfers of care still in hospital.
“We’re running at over 100 per cent capacity, the Royal has beeen over 100 per cent for a year and the length of stay of patients in increasing – that’s an indication of an organisation that’s losing the battle,” he said.
However interim chief operating officer Rab McEwan described the longer stays as a ‘winter phenomenon’ adding that talks had to be held with other health providers to ease the burden on acute services.
“It’s the tale end patients who are the issue,” he said.
“We have 30 per cent medically fit for discharge, 30 per cent in the process of being assessed or waiting to be assessed, and 40 per cent with complex discharge issues waiting for capacity in the community or a package of care.
“The question is can patients look after themselves at home, can their families help? should perhaps be putting less into nursing home care and more into domicilary care packages? This is something we need to talk to GPs about.”