Bed blocking 1

Published by NHS England, new figures have shown the number of reported delayed transfer of care (DTOC) incidences across NHS trust from November 2017 – November 2018.

Overall, 137,436 DTOCs occurred during the one-year period, with almost 89,500 being acute and nearly 48,000 being non-acute. Of these, 41,246 incidences related to social care, while more than double (85,045) were attributable to NHS organisations.

According to the Health Service, a DTOC – also known as bed blocking – occurs when a patient is ready to depart from acute or non-acute care but is still occupying a bed. Bed blocking can occur for a variety of different reasons, including waiting to be placed in residential care, waiting for community equipment and waiting for assessment completion.

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In October 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care announced a £240 million investment into the NHS to help ease pressure off the NHS and reduce the number of incidences of DTOC.

In the 12-month period, almost 4,000 people experienced a delayed transfer of care due to waiting for community equipment or an adaptation.

On top of this, over 14,000 people were awaiting assessment completion, while just under 30,000 people were awaiting a care package in their own home.

Moreover, close to 40,000 people were awaiting some form of home placement or availability (either residential or nursing). An additional 4,060 people were waiting for public funding.

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