Bed-blocking on the rise in Flintshire due to care home issues

Reporter:

Owen Evans

The closure of care homes and “embargo” on another has led to a rise in bed-blocking within Flintshire.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board managers said they had seen an increase in the amount of “delayed transfers of care” in Flintshire.

They said some care homes had closed recently, while another had recently been “embargoed” – leaving it temporarily unable to accept any more residents.

A report released ahead of next week’s meeting of the health board said Flintshire saw the biggest increase across the region during June.

It said: “The largest increase for the second month was in Flintshire which increased by nine patients to 25.

“The increase in Flintshire is twofold but linked.

“The recent closure of nursing homes led to a redistribution of patients which used all capacity.

“Home Care is also in
limited supply due to the providers not being able to recruit staff.

“The latter has been offset in the past using ‘step down’  beds but these have not been available due to the closures.”

The health board said work was being done to try to tackle the problem within the county.

They said: “A new home has opened beds in Flintshire and is being steadily filled but recent communications have indicated another home has now been embargoed.

“The area are working with the local authority to develop and shore up the independent sector and funding has been used from the Intermediate Care Fund and Welsh Government (WG) to increase recruitment possibilities.”

In North Wales overall, delayed transfers of care for non-mental health numbers had increased in June by 17 to a total 105.

This saw the total number of bed days lost due to the delays standing at 1,623, which was an increase compared with May – but around similar levels to April.

Between counties, the health board said the “picture was mixed”.

Wrexham remained steady compared with previous months, with 19 patients experiencing delayed transfers of care.

Allerton Lodge care home in Brynford closed earlier this year after a damning inspection report was published by The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).

They found 11 regulation breaches following an inspection in November.

Oakmere House in Hawarden also closed down after receiving an urgent suspension notice from the care inspectorate.

Neil Ayling, Chief Officer of Flintshire Social Services, said: “Flintshire has maintained a proud record of arranging supportive and timely discharges for people when they leave hospital to either their own homes or, when appropriate, to care homes. Indeed we are one of the leading authorities in providing effective hospital discharge support in Wales.

“The widely-reported, UK pressures in adult social care have had an impact in the sector in North Wales, and there have been home closures. However, due to the proactive approach that Flintshire takes in supporting providers, and the efforts of our dedicated and responsive social care teams, we are able to keep any delays to an absolute minimum.”

Email:

owen.evans@nwn.co.uk

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