Temporary bed unit for patients leaving hospital in Leeds could stay open longer

A temporary bed unit for frail NHS patients leaving hospital could stay open until next Easter, because of severe pressure on local hospitals.

By David Spereall, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Friday, 20th May 2022, 4:30 pm

The 15-bed facility at Colton, in east Leeds, was first opened in January on an initial three-month pilot, before that was extended until this coming July.

The so-called “step down” service looks after patients who are medically fit to leave hospital, but either still need some form of help or are waiting to be transferred to a care home.

Leeds health chiefs said last month that bed-blocking, where typically older patients are stuck in hospital because they can’t go home without further support, was one of the NHS’ biggest challenges.

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Temporary bed unit for patients leaving hospital in Leeds could stay open longer Bruce Rollinson

A decision on whether or not to extend the service, which is run out of a leased unit at the privately-run Colton Lodges Nursing Home, will be made next month.

But a council report said keeping the facility open for another nine months after July would “cover winter pressures and ongoing pressures in the system”.

It said: “The temporary service at Elmet House (Colton Lodges) commenced on January 10 2022 for an initial three-month pilot and is providing 15 step-down beds to facilitate timely hospital discharges and prevent hospital admissions.

“The approach to support is to maximise people’s independence, recovery, and rehabilitation.”

Although the service is partially funded by the NHS, it is run by the council itself.

The report also said the unit may have to expand to 30 beds, though that is dependent on demand and being able to recruit the necessary extra staff.