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New team tasked with delays

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
New team tasked with delays

A NEW team has been tasked with tackling the huge problem of delayed discharges in Dumfries and Galloway.

Patients being stuck in hospital longer than they need to because care packages are not in place is “by far the greatest demand” on the region’s health and social care sector, health chiefs have admitted.

In response, a community waiting times team (CWTT) has been assigned to streamlining the process and attempting to find solutions for affected patients.

The matter has been highlighted in a health and social care locality report, which has been produced for next week’s Nithsdale area committee.

The document revealed that, in November 2022, the number of Nithsdale residents experiencing a delay in being released from hospital had risen to 398 – compared to 225 for the same period in 2021.

The number of bed days lost due to delayed discharges also more than doubled, rising from 9192 to 19,125.

In the report, Stephanie Mottram, interim manager for community health and social care, stated: “Delayed discharges from hospital are by far the greatest demand on health and social care.

“This has resulted from a combination of the demand for post-hospital care being higher, less available care home space and reduced capacity for care at home packages versus demand.

“A community waiting times team has been established to ensure service users who require further care, post-discharge from hospital, or where care is not yet provided in the community, have arrangements in place in a more efficient and timeous manner. This includes care home and care at home packages.

“A new division focusing on care and support at home will be introduced in March 2023.”

The community waiting times team are dedicated to supporting and facilitating discharge from hospitals and where care is not yet provided in the community.

This has been developed through an analysis of those awaiting care at home and levels of urgency being collated. The team have created a waiting list for those awaiting a care home placement, and are also providing one point of contact for care homes.


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