A THIRD of NHS capacity is taken up by bed-blockers at busiest trusts: Analysis lays bare scale of £2bn-a-year crisis which Therese Coffey has vowed to fix… so use our interactive tool to see how bad problem is at YOUR hospital

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  • Analysis of data shows 13,000 beds, almost a seventh of NHS capacity in England, are taken up by bed-blockers
  • This rises to one bed in three that is being used by a patient to drop off at some of the country’s hardest-hit hospitals
  • Bedblocking is contributing to distressing A&E and ambulance waits and the NHS’s overwhelming care backlog
  • The problem has been attributed to social care, which has been compounded by staffing issues as supermarkets offer higher wages.
  • MailOnline’s analysis comes after new Health-Sec Therese Coffey pledges £500m to help fix the crisis

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Up to a third of beds in England’s busiest NHS trusts hold patients who shouldn’t be there, according to a shocking MailOnline analysis that lays bare the scale of the country’s ‘devastating’ bed-blocking jam.

More than 13,000 hospital beds across the country, or one in seven, are currently filled with patients declared fit for discharge by doctors.

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But rates rise to one in three in the worst-affected hospitals, found in Bristol and Coventry, as well as parts of Lancashire and Norfolk.

Experts say the numbers are being driven by a distinct crisis in social care, with medically fit patients left to stay in wards for nine months because there is no suitable nursing accommodation or care available for them in the community. .

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Newly appointed Health Secretary Therese Coffey has already vowed to end the scandal, which has risen to record levels and is believed to cost taxpayers around £2bn a year.

This will help prevent fatal ambulance delays by stopping paramedics waiting outside A&E for beds to be available. It will also boost efforts to tackle the COVID-induced care backlog, by freeing up space to allow more patients.

In an effort to avert an NHS recession this winter, Dr Coffey revealed yesterday that she will be giving a £500 million emergency fund to the crippled social care sector.

Care providers will be encouraged to use the battle chest to help plug the 165,000 vacancies, as a shortage of care workers is central to the crisis.

Employees may be offered bonuses, pay increases or more generous overtime to prevent more leaving for better-paying jobs in retail. A campaign will also be launched to attract more care workers from overseas, with £15 million available to cover areas such as visa applications and accommodation.

Dr Coffey described the £500 million as a ‘downpayment’, indicating that more money is coming in the pipeline. Prime Minister Liz Truss pledged to divert billions of NHS funding to social care to save the sector during the Tory leadership race.

Some of the trusts with the biggest bedblocking problems, such as those in North Bristol, had nearly one in three beds taken up by patients who were medically fit for discharge.

The NHS's bedblocking crisis has exploded since the pandemic, with levels of delayed discharges almost triple the comparable figures before the pandemic

The NHS’s bedblocking crisis has exploded since the pandemic, with levels of delayed discharges almost triple the comparable figures before the pandemic

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting criticized Miss Coffee's 'Sesame Street' plan, which she called A, B, C, D ambulance, backlog, care and doctors and dentists.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting criticizes Miss Coffee’s ‘Sesame Street’ plan, which he calls ‘A, B, C, D’ – ‘ambulance, backlog, care and doctors and dentists’

NHS data shows that between August 2010 and February 2020 – a month before the onset of Covid, an average of 4,580 beds a day were blocked by so-called ‘delayed leave’.

Even before the pandemic, the situation warned that knock-on effects, including the cancellation of operations due to lack of space, were killing thousands of people each year.

Now official NHS figures analyzed by MailOnline show how the scale of the crisis has worsened during the pandemic.

Newly appointed Health Secretary Therese Coffey has already vowed to end the scandal, which has risen to record levels and is believed to cost taxpayers around £2bn a year

Newly appointed Health Secretary Therese Coffey has already vowed to end the scandal, which has risen to record levels and is believed to cost taxpayers around £2bn a year

August was simply the worst month ever, with an average of 13,000 beds closed every day in England.

The problem is believed to cost around £5.2 million per day, as an overnight stay costs around £400.

The figure for August 31, the most recent day’s figures available, stood at 13,195 – more than three times the comparable figures published before Covid hit.

Our investigations accounted for the number of patients suitable for discharge as well as normal occupancy levels.

While there isn’t a direct comparison to bedblocking before Covid, the data gives an understanding of the scale of the problem.

It suggested that about 14.2 per cent of beds are open in England’s more than 100 acute NHS trusts – which are responsible for running the country’s largest hospitals – in the most recent days since statistics were published for delayed discharge.

But the rate varied widely across regions, being around 21.8 percent in the South West, compared to 8.9 percent in London.

When broken up by individual trusts, the North Bristol NHS Trust appeared to have the biggest problem with bed-blockers. It had an occupancy rate of 32.3 percent, with about 280 of its more than 870 beds available as of August 31, deemed sufficient by patients to leave.

An investigation last month found that a patient under care in the same trust had waited for more than nine months, while another patient was forced to wait eight.

Similar levels were also recorded at Queen Elizabeth Hospitals King’s Lynn (32.0 percent), Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (30.5 percent) and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (30.0 percent).

Figures from NHS England showed 6.8 million patients queued for routine hospital treatment in July, the equivalent of one in eight people.  About 380,000 have been waiting for more than a year

Figures from NHS England showed 6.8 million patients queued for routine hospital treatment in July, the equivalent of one in eight people. About 380,000 have been waiting for more than a year

Ambulance response times improved slightly in August but the time taken for paramedics to reach the scene was still well above target

Ambulance response times improved slightly in August but the time taken for paramedics to reach the scene was still well above target

Therese Coffey pledges £500m war chest to tackle NHS bed-blocking scandal

Therese Coffey has vowed to tackle the NHS bed-blocking crisis with the launch of a £500 million emergency fund.

The Secretary of Health and Social Care told lawmakers that the money would help free up space in hospitals as he…

Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /

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