Cases of so-called ‘bedblocking’ involving patients living in Wales have risen by more than a quarter at the Countess this year.
Simon Holden, chief finance officer at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, told Tuesday’s board meeting that delayed transfers of care (DTOCs) for patients from Wales have gone up by 26 per cent compared to last year.
And it comes as DTOCs involving patients from west Cheshire have fallen by 24 per cent compared to last year.
“If you just compare Wales this year to Wales last year, it has grown by 26 per cent,” Mr Holden said.
“That is a big percentage increase when you talk about inflation at two or three per cent.
“There is extra capacity that the west Cheshire system is putting in, and we have got to see some extra capacity being put in by Wales.”
Mr Holden added that a joint meeting between executives from the Countess and their counterparts in Wales is set to take place in the new year to discuss the issue.
DTOCs can be caused by issues either in the health system or in the social care system, and lead to beds needed by patients in hospital being unavailable – which can be a contributor to lengthy A&E delays.
It is the second month in a row that Countess bosses have raised concerns about working with the Welsh NHS system.
Trust board chairman Sir Duncan Nichol was criticised by Vaughan Gething, Welsh health secretary, after suggesting that the Countess was not being paid fairly for treating patients from across the border – where around a fifth of the Countess’ patients come from.
Mr Holden also told Tuesday’s board of directors meeting that the trust continues to forecast a £12.7 million deficit for the end of 2018-19, although that could change during the winter months.
By Stephen Topping – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
Image: Digital Health Age