Third of hospital’s patients unable to leave as CCGs struggle to fund services

A trust in the West Midlands is unable to discharge 30 per cent of patients from one of its hospitals as commissioners in the region struggle to fund community services, HSJ has been told.

The patients at Country Hospital in Stafford, run by University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust, are medically fit to be discharged, however sources have told HSJ they have been left waiting because clinical commissioning groups in the south of the county are unable to fund out of hospital services.

In County Hospital, 45 patients are medically fit to be discharged

Staffordshire County Council has also said “with the best will in the world” it will be unable to “immediately” meet national delayed transfer of care targets.

The trust said 45 patients – the equivalent of 30 per cent – in the hospital are medically fit to be discharged.

A source close to the situation told HSJ: “I don’t know a hospital where the number of patients who are medically fit to be discharged is quite so high… it is a particular problem for the [CCGs in south Staffordshire] as there aren’t many community hospital beds to close to fund community and domiciliary care services.”

The source added that there is also a general lack of domiciliary care available for the CCGs to commission “even if they had the money”.

Commissioners in Staffordshire are currently in the capped expenditure programme. The CCGs responsible for the south of the region are: Cannock Chase, South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula, and Stafford and Surrounds.

Full story in The HSJ, 20 September 2017