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Discharge Plan Puts Elderly at Risk

Red Rose Lancashire

Lancashire Adult Social Care Winter Plan 2020/21

The elderly and vulnerable will once again be targeted by the Government to clear hospital beds this winter due to the current COVID 19 Crisis. Putting them at risk according to Cllr John Fillis, who said “We saw how the government tragically moved the elderly from their hospital beds to care homes without any testing in the first COVID wave. The government will now be forcing the elderly and vulnerable to go home, knowing that the care they require in the community may be delayed or not available when they need it most.”

Lancashire County Councils, Adult Social Care Winter Plan 2020/21, sets out a nationally mandated discharge process that will see patients automatically discharged the same day as it’s decided they no longer need treatment in a hospital. The patients discharge assessment that provided a support package within the community, as part of their rehabilitation, will not be carried out until they are home. This means they may not be provide with the right community service for them, at the right time. It may take up to three days before this much needed assessment can be carried out and without a time frame as to how long it will take for the correct support to be provided.

The report goes on to identify that local bed modelling shows an anticipated significant bed deficit to meet the demands of winter and COVID-19, and winter planning needs to provide mitigation for this. The recruitment and retention of staff both for new or expanded services, along with the resilience and wellbeing of staff which could further impact on already fragile services has yet to be resolved. Issues such as vacancies, absences and high turnover not only lead to a higher risk of infection transmission, but also mean that capacity is at greater risk of being insufficient to respond to the needs during the height of the winter.

Cllr John Fillis, Labour Deputy Leader, said “The Conservative administration should be standing up to this government and demanding fully funded support packages from the minute these elderly and vulnerable people leave hospital. The County’s Conservative administration are looking to muddle through this chaotic and damaging discharge process that will put lives at risk.”

“This crisis has been made worse by the cuts in hospital beds and staffing by the Conservative over the last 10 years. Despite the Conservative Government promises there is also a funding shortfall in what’s required to deliver the additional capacity.”


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