"Bed Blocking"

About: University Hospital Wishaw / General Medicine

(as a relative),

My sister-in-law in her 80's was admitted with a suspected fracture to her femur.

She was a bit confused when admitted and in her 3 week stay she was moved from her admission ward to another ward and back to the admission ward during that period. Her discharge was delayed as her care package at home had to be adjusted.

It is reckoned that she blocked her bed for at least a week until her discharge package was sorted out. Going by the statistics mentioned by Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary last week at the NHS Conference in Glasgow, the "wasted" cost is £4500 (I. e. the average cost of keeping someone in an acute hospital per week).

As integration of Health and Social Services is still in its infancy can someone make sure that the government strategy of caring for people in their own home is notched up a gear. They also need to provide the much needed beds to others in as timely a way as possible as well as allowing people to be cared for in their home environment.

Also during this visiting period, the visiting times varied in different wards adding confusion to carers, relatives and visitors. When travelling long distances this is a bad reflection on the service.

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Response from Marion Mark, Director of Hospital Services, University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Marion Mark

Dear Basil

I am sorry that your sister in law's experience was not a more positive one and I can only apologise for the delays incurred in returning to her home.

I am also sorry for the confusion around visiting times and will look into this matter to ensure relatives and friends know the correct times for each ward.

If you would like to provide me with more detail I would be happy to investigate this matter further or indeed meet with you to discuss. Please call Yvonne Ross on 01698366558 with your decision.

Once again I apologise sincerely for the distress caused to your sister in law and the family I hope she is recovering well.



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