Sandwell is the top performing council in the whole country for getting people home after a stay in hospital, new figures have revealed.
The council’s work on dealing with delayed transfers of care – which happen when someone is medically ready to leave hospital but can’t until arrangements are made for care or mobility equipment – beats England’s 173 other authorities.
In May this year, the number of ‘delayed days’ for Sandwell residents being discharged from hospital was just 31 per 100,000 of population.
The average delay across all English councils was more than ten times that at 317.
Sandwell Council works with partners, including Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and community partners, to get people home from hospital as soon as possible.
As well as speedily arranging equipment, care home spaces, respite and care visits to get people discharged from hospital, the service also focuses on preventing people from being admitted in the first place.
Councillor Farut Shaeen, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for living healthy lives, said: “It’s always a relief to get back home after being in hospital so any delay to that can be a very difficult and distressing. Not only that, it can have an effect on a patient’s mobility and independence.
“That’s particularly the case with older people, who may need a care package set up or adaptations in their home to make sure they’re safe when they leave hospital.
“We work really hard with our partners to make sure people aren’t spending unnecessary time in hospital and freeing up those beds for the next patient.”
Sandwell Council’s interim chief executive David Stevens added: “Being stuck in hospital is no fun for anyone, but for some of our residents with long-term conditions, it can really start to impact on their wellbeing.
“So, I’m thrilled by the news that Sandwell is the best area in the country for reducing unnecessary delays in getting people home from hospital.
“I’d like to say well done to the Hospital 2 Home team and all the other staff involved in managing safe and timely discharges. They are achieving something we can all be proud of.”