The Secretary of State for Health has praised Nottinghamshire County Council for its work in reducing discharge delays in Nottinghamshire hospitals.
The Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP has written to the Council’s Chief Executive congratulating the Nottinghamshire area for having the biggest improvement in discharge delays in the three months to May 2017.
During this time the Council’s social care teams and health partners, including Nottingham University and Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trusts, have worked together to reduce the patient discharge delays from 6,451 days to 4,302 compared to the same period the previous year.
Mr Hunt wrote that an ‘improvement on such a scale is very impressive and testament to the hard work and dedication of your staff’ and the County Council is ‘a real example to others.’
The Council’s social care team helps and supports people and their family members or carers by arranging care services to help individuals to return back to their home or by arranging a place in a care home when they are ready for discharge from hospital.
Delays attributable to social care in the county reduced by two thirds – from 887 days to 324 over the same period compared to the year before.
The Council is also investing an additional £782,130 from Central Government to increase the number of social care staff in hospitals to reduce pressures on hospital beds and £1.45m on care services that help people to regain skills for greater independence on discharge.
A further £345,000 is being spent this year on improving computer systems to make it easier for health staff and social care staff working in local accident and emergency departments to access patient care records with greater ease.
The authority was ranked as the fifth best performing Council for hospital discharge delays due to social care in December with no reported social care discharge delays at Nottingham University’s Hospitals.
English councils were on average each responsible for discharge delays totalling 456 days compared to Nottinghamshire County Council which was responsible for just 65 days.
Councillor Stuart Wallace, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee, said: “Our hospital social care teams carry out a sterling job making sure people who are ready for discharge have all the care and support they need when they leave hospital.
“It’s an honour to receive a letter from the Secretary of State for Health acknowledging and congratulating our team on their high performance in reducing discharge delays locally.
“We know more work needs to be done, which is why we as a Council are investing an extra £2.57m on our work to reduce hospital pressures in the county while still providing a high quality care service for Nottinghamshire’s residents.”