More rehab beds to open at Southmead Hospital

Published on: 30 Nov 2014

ONE in eight patients in Bristol’s new Southmead Hospital is ready to leave, councillors have been told.

The scale of “bed blocking’ was revealed by senior officials of North Bristol NHS Trust at a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s public health and health scrutiny commission.

They said that on any day more than 100 patients were fit for discharge but could not leave until provision had been made for their health and social care in the community.

Chief executive Andrea Young said that from the start of December the number of rehabilitation beds in the hospital’s Elgar House would be increased from 50 to 76 to help tackle the problem.

Peter Murphy, the council’s director of children, adult and health services, admitted the system was under pressure, but said 14 additional nursing home beds were due to be provided within the next couple of weeks, which should improve capacity.

Ms Young had been invited to the committee to outline some of the issues that the trust had faced since the opening of the new hospital in May and the actions it had taken to tackle them.

She said there had been problems getting used to some of the new facilities. This had led to operations being cancelled and too many patients having to wait too long at A&E. Only 86 per cent were being seen within four hours, compared with the national target of 95 per cent. Too many people were also having to wait to be transferred from ambulances.

However, the committee heard that the figures were improving even though attendance at A&E remained high, at 7,000 per month.

Success stories included a fall in infection rates – no cases of MRSA since September 2013 – and in mortality rates.

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