Freeing up beds. More unsafe discharges looming?

Apologies if this has already been vioced elsewhere. I heard on Sky News international edition and their review of British newspapers that nhs beds are to be freed up to make space for coronavirus victims. Specifically, but not exclusively, extended care elderly inpatients would be removed from hospitals to home and social sttings for community care.

What can Carers UK and similar bodies do or are doing to guard against even more unsafe discharges and failure of the care act as social services become even more stressed.

Or is this the price we are expected to pay.

Very worrying indeed.

Oh dear

Thanks for raising this issue Rosemary. All of the concerns about how coronavirus will affect carers that are being posted in the Forum are being passed onto our policy team. We’ll make sure this issue is passed on too.

I heard that beds were going to be “freed up” by stopping all non urgent surgery.

Thanks, Michael. I believe the nhs are freeing up beds by postponing elective surgeries too.

The thing that got me was the woman newspaper reviewer, Asha, was very pleased that bed blockers were finally going to be rushed out into community/family care, and we know what that can lead to.

She certainly didnt serve our cause well, and may have done it some harm by assigning blame to the inpatient for bed blocking rather than to dwindling social care funding which can cause extended stays, and reduced hospital facilities.

The other reviewer, a man from the FT as I recall, didn’t have that much to say on the topic.

The possibility of triage when determining treatment plan is a separate concern, but to throw people out as soon as they are ‘medically fit’ to the mercy of ill-prepared community services is only a sensible approach if youre ignorant of LAs’ inadequate setups, or healthy enough not to care imho.

£2.9bn provided to free up hospital beds for coronavirus patientsLocal authorities and NHS will share fund to get recovering elderly and vulnerable patients into social care

So where are all the carers going to materialise from?
Does the government not realise that closing the schools for the foreseeable future, the pool of existing carers has just shrunk hugely, in my area, the New Forest, there was already a dire shortage.
Then exactly WHERE are these people going to go, especially if they don’t have any relatives?

We used to have lots of “Cottage Hospitals”. Most are still under the control of the Health Authority, but used for various “outreach” activities, none of which can now happen because of the virus. Opening up these cottage hospitals could be done very quickly IF they could find enough staff of course! The number of staff needed could be far less than the number needed to support the residents individually.

Melly, thanks for finding and posting the article from the newspaper.


I can’t take the credit for finding it, only for posting it :wink: