Fewer patients left in hospital unnecessarily

NHS Lothian and its local authority partners have significantly reduced the number of people in hospital because of a lack of suitable accommodation for them.

The number of people prevented from leaving hospital dropped from 84 in March to just 52 in April, according to a new report to be presented to NHS Lothian’s board today (Wednesday, 27th May, 2009.) This is well within the original target of 66 and represents significant progress.

There were 26 people from the Edinburgh local authority area delayed in hospitals in April 2009, 13 in Midlothian, none in West Lothian and 13 in East Lothian.

The main reasons given for the delay, after the completion of treatment, were connected with planning improvements to patients’ homes or a lack of available nursing home places.

Jackie Sansbury, Director of Planning, NHS Lothian, said:

 “We are all agreed that once treatment is completed for someone, staying on in hospital is not in their best interests and it is encouraging to see the progress that has jointly been made in this area.”

The April 2009 position compares favourably with the position in October 2007, when 146 “delayed discharges” were recorded. The full paper can be read at NHS Lothian’s website, www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk.