15 December 2022

Fewer than 10% medically fit patients discharged from some hospitals

15 December 2022

Fewer than 10% of medically fit patients were discharged from some hospitals in England last week, new analysis shows.

Levels were as low as 8% at both Stockport Foundation Trust and the Northern Care Alliance in Greater Manchester, and 6% at Liverpool University Hospitals.

Other trusts with very low rates of discharging fit patients included Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (11%), Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals in Surrey (11%) and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals (12%).

Overall, an average of 22,343 people per day across England were ready to leave hospital last week, of which 41% were discharged while 59% stayed in their beds, according to analysis of NHS data by the PA news agency.

Rates vary across the country, with half of medically fit patients in Eastern England discharged, compared with just 30% in north-west England and 35% in south-west England.

In London, the figure was 48%, in north-east England/Yorkshire 42%, the Midlands 42% and south-east England 40%.

Hospitals are facing a growing struggle to discharge people who are well enough to leave, often because there is not enough support in place from local providers of social care.

The England-wide discharge rate last week of 41% is down from 42% six months ago and 46% in the equivalent week last December.

Delays in freeing up beds have a knock-on effect for admissions, leading to many patients being kept waiting in ambulances before being handed over to A&E teams.

Separate figures published on Thursday show that one in six ambulance patients in England last week waited more than an hour to be transferred to A&E, with just over one in three waiting at least 30 minutes.

The numbers are higher than at any point in recent winters.

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