The National Audit Office published its report in May this year. It focused on patients deemed as ‘medically fit for discharge’ but who are stranded in hospital.
Between 2013 and 2015, official delayed transfers of care rose 31%. Consequently, in 2015 delayed discharge accounted for 1.15 million bed days. Most noteworthy, 85% of these patients were aged over 65.
Elderly are more likely to be delayed in getting home from hospital:
Waiting for Social Care was the biggest cause of this sharp rise. Since 2010, waits for Home Care packages have doubled and waits for beds in nursing homes have also increased by 63%. This isn’t surprising given the increasing number of old, frail and medically complex hospital patients, coupled with 10% cuts in real-terms funding for social care over the past five years.
Lifeline Alarms to get you home from hospital:
I have not yet managed to find research quantifying how Lifeline Alarms reduce discharge delays. However, my regular conversations with OT’s, Discharge Coordinators and patients support the fact. Having a lifeline alarm installed in an elderly patient’s home can get that patient discharged and home from hospital sooner.
We are often asked to install a lifeline ASAP, meeting a family member in the patient’s home to get the lifeline in place so they can come home from hospital later that day. The NNUH provide patients and their relatives with information on Pendant Alarms as part of preparing for discharge.
I have seen many people – tired, frail and leaning on an arm – yet so happy to be back home. Looking forward to a peaceful sleep in their own bed without bells buzzing and other patients calling out. It means so much to both the elderly patient and their relatives to have mum or dad back home and kept safe.