Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Bed blocking fines cancelled

HOSPITAL chiefs will not fine council bosses for failing to prevent OAP bed blocking, it has been announced.

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Health managers threatened to fine Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s social services for not having arrangements in place to get pensioners out of hospital.

This leads to ‘bed blocking’, where patients stay in longer than they have to, taking up vital beds.

However, the council has now signed an agreement with Heart of England Foundation Trust to tackle the problem together.

Fines will not be pursued given “the positive partnerships developing” a council report says. Fines cash will instead be invested in social services, it said.

Recent figures, for March, show 834 Solihull people had to stay in hospital longer than they needed to.

Of these, 299 were because of delays with the council; 283 were because of the NHS and 252 were because of patient choice.

Councils are fined £100 or £120 per patient per day when they are at fault for bed blocking.

The regime was introduced in 2003 in a bid to remove a key bottleneck in NHS waiting times.

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