Health

Cornwall’s Loss of Care Home Beds Leads to Longer Hospital Stay for Elderly People

Over 150 care home beds were shut down in Cornwall at the beginning of the year, leading to elderly people having to stay in the hospital much longer.

NHS England sets a target for the Cornwall Council regarding delayed transfers of care, which is presently 7.3 per 100,000 population. Unfortunately, the most recent quarter figure this year showed the numbers to be 11.5, which is a significant increase from 7.7 in the past quarter. These figures show that Cornwall Council missed the official performance target for discharging people from hospitals and into care homes.

The council reported that the reasons for this discrepancy were the “prolonged period of extremely hot weather’ and the unanticipated increase in the number of care and residential homes that closed. Figures show that in just this year, around 132 dementia care beds along with 22 residential beds have been lost.

Cornwall Council comments on the issue, saying, “We are working to increase the home care hours, increasing assessment capacity, and working with the voluntary sector to support better discharge. We will continue to work closely with our NHS colleagues and all our providers to ensure good quality residential care and our longer-term work will help more residents to live well and independently in their own homes.”

Apart from taking action to prevent further delayed transfers of care, the council also said, “We also recognise that people in Cornwall need more living options for when people get older so we are embarking on a programme to deliver over 3,500 extra care units by 2025. Extra care units allow people to live independently in their community with their own front door. Care is available to people around the clock if they need it. It means that people can leave the hospital sooner and receive care at home.”

The council presently maintains a good record of adult social care and commissions services from 325 CQC registered providers. A majority (76 percent) of these providers have a rating of good or outstanding.

 

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