Up to 150 bed-blocking patients in hospitals in Oxfordshire could be transferred to their own home or a nursing home as part of a plan developed by the county’s health and social care providers.
Currently 120 patients at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Horton General in Banbury and a further 30 patients in the county’s community hospitals are waiting to move onto the next stage of their care.
Under the plans developed by several organisations including Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) and Oxfordshire Clinical Commisioning Group (OCCG), these patients will either be transferred to a nursing home for care for up to eight weeks or to their own home with a care support package.
Full costings for the plan are currently being finalised but OCCG is providing £2 million funding to support the plan.
Those transferred to a nursing home will receive medical, therapy, and social work rehabilitation support while long term care plans are established.
Some may require ongoing nursing home care and remain in a nursing home while others may return to their own home.
Those who remain in a nursing home will be transferred to one of their choice.
The transfers out of hospital are expected to take place in early December ahead of an expected increase in hospital admissions due to the onset of winter. The transfer plan is expected to relieve pressure on emergency departments at the JR and Horton.
Delays in transferring patients can have an impact on hospital services as bed-blocking patients make it more difficult to admit new ones.
Oxford University Hospitals chief executive, Dr Bruno Holthof said: “The longer patients are delayed, the greater the risk from hospital infections and loss of independence and mobility for more vulnerable older patients.
“Patients who are ready to leave hospital but delayed can, over a sustained period of time, become dependent on inpatient care, with the loss of skills for independent living leading to a requirement for a higher level of ongoing care at home or in a residential nursing home.”