DELAYED DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL BY ELDERLY PATIENTS

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Conference
2015 National Retired Members Conference
Date
15 June 2015
Decision

Conference notes that delayed discharge from hospital by elderly patients, commonly known as bed blocking is a major problem in many hospitals.

Following admission to and treatment in hospital when elderly patients are well enough to be discharged they are frequently unable to do so for two main reasons:

1. some have been admitted from care homes who will not take them back as they cannot meet their needs;

2. others live alone and are not able to look after themselves without help and have to remain in hospital until a care package is put in place which can take a considerable amount of time particularly with the growing number of patients with dementia.

In some cases hospital admission could be avoided altogether for patients whose needs only require community support for everyday health issues which don’t require hospitalisation.

Conference also notes that due to the Coalition government’s cuts in resources to local authorities, likely to be continued more brutally by the new Tory government, many have had to close care and residential homes and respite beds which has exacerbated the problem of bed blocking.

Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to liaise with the National Executive Council to campaign for more respite beds to be made available for elderly patients to be accommodated until care homes or care packages are put in place.