Hospital beds freed up by pioneering partnership

Date published: 14 February 2020

Rochdale is one of the best performing areas across Greater Manchester for ensuring hundreds of patients are discharged from hospital on time.

Recent figures released by the NHS showed there were just 354 delayed discharge days from Pennine Acute hospitals in one month. This compares to the Greater Manchester average of 1,123 delayed days over the same period.

The figures underline the impact of innovative policies across Rochdale’s health partnership to free up much needed hospital beds.

Pioneering partnership work between Rochdale Borough Council, Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation (part of the Northern Care Alliance) and HMR Clinical Commissioning Group has led to a continued trend in the number of delayed discharges being reduced.

The popular ‘discharge to assess’ scheme gives patients the option of receiving any required assessment in their own homes or preferred environment.

In addition, Tudor Court in Heywood is a key part of the award-winning Intermediate Tier Service, offering a short-term step-up option away from hospital, supporting individuals who require a period of rehabilitation to enable independence and a safe return to their own home.

Council research has found that many people prefer to transfer from hospital to their home or residential care as soon as it is safe to do so.

Delayed transfers of care occur when an adult inpatient in hospital is ready to go home or move to a less acute stage of care, but is prevented from doing so because of a lack of capacity in the care system. Rochdale’s successful approach means vital capacity is freed up, helping to ease the strain on the NHS.

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, cabinet member for adult services, said: “These figures underline the successful partnership work across our care system. It’s great that Rochdale is not only one of the best performing areas in Greater Manchester, but also in the wider region.

“There is always more to do and that’s why more initiatives, like the new enhanced night service, are being pioneered to continue our drive to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and ensure people are safely discharged from hospital in a timely way.

“A huge congratulations to staff across the health partnership for showcasing Rochdale’s caring side at its very best.”

Steve Taylor, chief officer of Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation and Rochdale Health and Care, said: “This is a great example of collaborative working at its best. These figures are testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff in both hospital and community settings.

“Put simply, Discharge to Assess is about supporting people to leave hospital, when safe and appropriate to do so, and continuing their care and assessment out of hospital. It’s about putting the patient’s needs first and providing the right care in the right place for them.”

Karen Kenton, assistant director of commissioning, NHS HMR CCG and Rochdale Borough Council said: “All the agencies involved in the Rochdale intermediate tier service continually strive to reduce the number of delayed discharges from hospital as at the centre of each one is a patient who could be better cared for in a different setting. This may be a care or nursing home or in their own home, perhaps with a support package.

“We are heartened that our good working relationships are benefitting more patients locally than is average across Greater Manchester but we are far from complacent and will continue to improve the service to benefit more local people going forward.”

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