Patients’ long wait in hospital

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Patients waiting to be discharged from hospitals have faced agonising delays across the region.

Almost three quarters of hospitals in England have had patients wait for more than 100 days to be discharged, even though they are medically fit to leave, a report suggests.

Those experiencing delays include one patient who reportedly waited more than a year. The 62-year-old, who had been treated by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, waited 449 days to be discharged.

And Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust (LTHT) was unable to discharge a stroke patient for 313 days due to a lack of care outside of hospital.

Suzanne Hinchliffe, chief nurse at the trust, said: “Over this winter the NHS nationally has experienced unprecedented levels of demand and LTHT has been no exception.”

Data obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act suggested reasons for delays included a lack of home care, nursing home places and support for stroke patients.

An FOI to Mid Yorkshire showed that the average discharge waiting time last year was 36 days. The trust said it had made “significant progress” over the past 12 months.

Chairman Jules Preston said the number of elderly patients admitted to the trust’s hospitals, who have additional needs, had increased.

He said the trust was now working with local authorities and CCGs to “improve the discharge planning for these patients”.

Nationally, figures for December show performance against the A&E target to treat, admit or discharge 95 per cent of patients within four hours was the worst ever at 86.2 per cent. Mid Yorkshire Hospitals had the lowest level in Yorkshire at 77 per cent, while LTHT was at 78.1 per cent.

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