Government cash given to the Island to help free up hospital beds

Government cash given to the Island to help free&nbsp;up&nbsp;hospital beds <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Government cash given to the Island to help free up hospital beds (Image: Newsquest)

NEARLY two million pounds of funding has been given to the Isle of Wight to help discharge hospital patients who are well enough to go home.

It is part of a £500 million national effort to clear the NHS of 'bedblockers' — the term used for patients who can leave hospital but have no care organised.

In December, there were 13,000 people stuck in hospitals across England.

The problem on the Island has caused the Isle of Wight NHS Trust to declare a nearly two-month-long critical incident as blockages in the system led to an inability to admit patients.

The trust has said, on average, there are now routinely 70 to 75 patients in St Mary's Hospital in Newport that cannot leave.

From the Adult Social Care Discharge Fund, the Department of Health and Social Care gave the Island £1,937,811 — split between the Isle of Wight Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB) — to address the current system pressures.

Ten schemes have been highlighted to receive funding, including:

  • Additional home care capacity to help the council's outreach team, expected to help 30 people

  • Additional money to the Bluebell House Residential Care Home as a step-down facility, estimated to help 70 people

  • A new nurse-led community unit for patients no longer needing to stay, with the potential to help 144 people

  • Another community day hub, this time on the south of the Island, to support hospital discharge, able to help eight patients a day, seven days a week

  • Enhance the current telehealth equipment providing proactive support to care home

  • Use the national scheme, offering enhanced rates to all care providers to maximise their facilities

  • Increased use of agency staff to extend the capacity of the discharge team and clinical case management

Darren Cattell, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust's chief executive told the Island's Health and Wellbeing Board today (Thursday), the trust had benefitted significantly from the additional funding, even if it was temporary.

Isle of Wight Council leader, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox said it was imperative the Island received the money as she dreaded to think how the situation would be if they had not had it.