In the Telegraph today:
Rising numbers of elderly patients are being left “stranded” in hospital for more than three weeks amid a growing social care crisis, an investigation [CHS Healthcare] reveals. Health officials warned that a 10-days in a hospital bed could mean pensioners “aged” by a decade, in terms of lost muscle mass. Every NHS trust was set targets to reduce such stays – defined as “super-stranded” cases – as part of efforts to reduce pressures on hospitals. But new research shows that 87 per cent of trusts have missed their targets – with the number enduring long stays rising since the promise was made.
In NHS Scotland, delayed discharges continue to fall despite a massive increase in demand:
The problem is, in part, due to the cancellation of operations for non-clinical reasons:
Experts said the use of hospitals as long stay institutions was fuelling record numbers of cancelled operations. In the first quarter of this year, 19,969 procedures were cancelled at the last minute, for non-clinical reasons – a rise of 28 per cent in five years.
In the same period NHS Scotland less than 1 500 operations were cancelled for non-clinical reasons. The NHS England rate is more than 30% worse, per head of population.