Bed blocking: NHS bottleneck puts patients at risk - report

2023-09-07 10:36:48  • 3 mins

A bottleneck in discharging patients from hospital is putting people at risk and services under extreme pressure, a report found.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales' review found "consistent challenges" caused by poor patient flow through wards.

It said the issues are wide-ranging but primarily stem from high demand for beds and the complexities involved in discharging medically fit patients.

The Welsh government allocated an extra 25m for emergency care closer to home.

A spokesperson said it would take on board the findings.

First Minister Mark Drakeford admitted the system was "under enormous pressure" on BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.

Asked about the prospect of strike action in the sector over wages causing further disruption, he said the Welsh government pays social care workers the real living wage - the only part of the UK to do so.

However, he said even this is not "a huge reward for their fantastic work", saying the money simply is not available to give more.

"Unnecessarily long stays in hospital due to delayed discharge can place patients at risk of hospital acquired infections or deterioration whilst awaiting discharge," the report warned.

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