"Bed-blocking costs money. Reduce it effectively."

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

This is constructive criticism of your determined procedures to reduce bed-blocking at the RBH.

Put the patient first.

Be sympathetic, not bureaucratic.

My wife was ready to be discharged from the RBH on February 1st. The procedures followed, bureaucratically, meant that she was discharged on Feb 8th.

Although best advice was that she needed 2 people to help her in and out of bed. In practice, one person did this support. With sleep and toilet, this support was calculated to be 4 times per day, for between 30 and 45 minutes.

My wife has an able-bodied carer, but they were put aside for HSE reasons, so that 2 professionals were employed by the NHS.

My partenr had a poorly defined illness that meant they were admitted to hospital on January 14th. They were very weak on arrival, and weak, with bedsores, on discharge. They were not cured, and discharge was a judgement call, affected by several medical and social staff.

The hospital Consultant opined discharge. The TVN requested 2 people assist my partner in and out of bed. The OT assessed the home environment. The Council arranged professional carers. 7 days passed, and my wife got out. There followed 4 weeks of 2 carers, 4 times per day, and 2 weeks of 1 carer, 4 times per day.

None of this week delay, nor the 200 odd hours of carers was effective use of NHS funds.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We strive to professionally arrange discharges for our patients with the appropriate care that is needed to ensure they are a safe and supported so we are sorry that you feel your wife was kept in hospital longer than was needed. It is difficult to investigate or make any improvement to our services without knowing which ward your wife stayed on so please contact us via our Patient Relations Team (0118 322 8338 or email: talktous@royalberkshire.nhs.uk) to provide more detail and enable us to discuss the issues raised.

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