By Connie Osborne Thursday 26 September 2013 Updated: 27/09 07:16
PATIENTS who no longer need to be in hospital will be medically assessed at nursing homes and community hospitals in a bid to ease bed blocking.
Bosses at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust say those who doctors have decided can be discharged - but are delayed in having their care needs assessed by social services - could be moved to beds elsewhere to allow for more spaces at the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal sites.
There are currently between 65 and 70 people at both sites who can be moved on but social care providers are failing to assess them quickly meaning the sites are struggling to meet demand coming through A&E and to carry out planned operations.
But under this new scheme, patients could be transfered to smaller hospitals such as Evesham Community Hospital and Bromsgrove's Princess of Wales where they can be assessed to help ease bed pressure at the main sites.
Talks are also in place to use a cut of the £1 million given to the Trust by the Government to help deal with extra winter cases
to commission its own nursing home capacity for those who are declared medically fit.
An expected 30 beds should be freed over the next month meaning one ward at the Worcestershire Royal which already provides winter beds can effectively be closed to allow for elective operations to take place and ease the backlog of people waiting for more than 18 weeks.
Chief executive Penny Venables said: "Social care providers send round their staff to assess patients on what their needs are and what service is suitable to provide this. If patients can be assessed outside of the hospitals this means we will be able to move people on quicker and a better flow will remain through the hospitals.
"By doing so it will get the list down and it will make a major difference. That's the equivalent to a whole ward full of patients who would have a bed available."
She added she hoped to see improvements before the winter period began on October 17.
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