NAO Report Reveals More Elderly People Are Waiting In Hospital
The report released by the National Audit Office (NAO) has suggested that the number of people over 65 that are staying in hospitals longer than necessary is increasing.
According to the document, titled “Discharging older patients from hospital” , which was released last month, elderly patients were not being discharged from Hospital in time as they were waiting for care packages to be put in place at home. This led to the people within this demographic staying in hospital for a combined 1.15 million days longer than necessary.
Since 2013, the rate of older people waiting in hospital to be discharged because of care problems has risen by 31%, the report found.
"While there is a clear awareness of the need to discharge older people from hospital sooner, there are currently far too many older people in hospitals who do not need to be there," said NAO chief Amyas Morse.
The spending watchdog has estimated that the additional costs to the NHS are around £820 million each year for keeping older patients in hospital who no longer need to receive acute clinical care.
The number of older people being admitted to hospital and an ageing population means that there needs to be a significant change in performance to resolve the problem, although the report did find that efforts were being made to address the situation.
A patients’ health can be effected by staying in hospital longer than needed, with muscle strength falling by five per cent every day a person stays in hospital, which ultimately leads to an increasing need for care on discharge, the report states.
An elderly person’s health being negatively impacted by a longer than necessary stay in hospital can lead to a loss of mobility and will interrupt their ability to do everyday tasks.
Once a patient leaves a hospital they can be put into the care of a multi-disciplinary team, which Occupational Therapists can be a key part of. These teams are set up to ensure that patients have all the necessary support to recover after an illness or injury.
You can view the full report here