Hospital bed blockage scandal exposed in coronavirus emergency

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The rapid transfer of elderly inpatients to nursing homes during the coronavirus emergency revealed a “health care scandal” of years of non-fight against bed blocking.

The request was made after Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman both suggested that the pandemic prompted immediate efforts to secure nursing beds for those hospitalized longer than necessary.

The problem of bed blockage, officially known as discharge delay, describes patients who are ready to leave the service but who have no pending care packages.

He has been accused of adding serious health risks to already vulnerable, normally elderly people.

NHS figures for April show a 30% drop in bed blockage in two months. The January census showed that 1,640 patients were retained, compared to 1,171 in March. Eighteen were delayed by a year or more.

In a series of admissions in recent days, Freeman said bed blocking improved during the coronavirus epidemic because there was more funding, more “focus”, better technology and dissemination of “good practices”.

Sturgeon said it would have been dangerous for health to keep the elderly in the hospital where there was “no medical need” during the Covid-19 emergency.

Labor DPS Neil Findlay blamed years of underfunding for the scandal – and said the delay in release had caused “pain” to those stranded on long waiting lists for beds.

“The simple fact is that these places of care and home care packages existed, they could be put into service and filled quickly due to a major change: the money became available to buy them”, a- he declared.



Labor DPS Neil Findlay says the Scottish government should have tackled bed blockage years ago.

“So rather than places that don’t exist, they just weren’t funded. And they were not funded because the councils that jointly finance the integrated joint commissions have seen their budget saved from year to year by the SNP government with disproportionate cuts.

“So the whole time your mother or father, grandmother or grandfather got stuck in the hospital while waiting for a package of care, as they were told with their families, the places were actually still there. What a shame it is. ”

He admitted that no administration had successfully eradicated the problem, including Labor and Lib Dems before the SNP formed a government in 2007.

MSPs polled the government on the transfer of about 1,000 patients from hospital to nursing homes.

The main focus was on access to tests in light of several deadly epidemics among the elderly, the vulnerable and nursing home staff.

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Scottish politics

At Inverclyde, 50 treatment beds were paid to transfer patients from hospitals at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Secretary of Health confirmed to Parliament on Thursday that 40 of them were used in eight nursing homes.

She drew attention to the blockage of beds on Thursday during questions to Holyrood about the tests.

Freeman, when asked about Inverclyde, went on to say that the practice was safe in larger parts of Scotland thanks to “absolute focus on what we needed them to do”.

She added, “Making people stay in the hospital longer than their treatment entails risks that harm them.” For some time now, all of us in Parliament have shared the desire to reduce the number of delayed discharges, and the position has been achieved in part through this effort, with the dissemination and adoption of good practices.

“Additional funding has been made available to partnership areas to ensure that existing social care packages are not exhausted.”



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Freeman said that an “additional request for home support” had been met. In some cases, special beds have been created.

“As we look back at the road we have traveled to deal with the pandemic and consider what improvements we would like to make and what lessons we would like to learn, we will conclude that some of them will be improvements that we want to continue in the future. “She said.

The Prime Minister drew attention to the bed blockage scandal on Friday while answering questions about home testing.

“If we go back to the point where we started to get the elderly – who should not have been hospitalized, called deferred discharges – out of the hospital, one of the things we knew then was that our hospitals were on the verge of being filled with coronavirus cases, ”she said.

“So to have kept elderly people without medical need in the hospital where they were would have been a huge risk.”

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