The British Geriatrics Society welcomes the National Audit Office’s Report ‘Discharging older patients from hospital’
BGS, 26 May 2016: In response to the National Audit Office’s Report ‘Discharging older patients from hospital’, President of The British Geriatrics Society, Professor David Oliver, commented: “This report highlights the urgent need for adequate funding for social care to deal with the largely unmet need and rising demands of an ageing population. In order to facilitate hospital discharges for older people we need adequate capacity in intermediate care services. According to the National Audit of Intermediate Care Summary Report published in 2015, waiting times for reablement services doubled in just two years. This new NAO report clearly demonstrates the negative impact with a 31% rise in the number of bed days taken up by patients with a delayed transfer.
The British Geriatrics Society urges medical professionals to help facilitate hospital discharges of older people by providing better focus on patient flow, regular patient reviews and expediting access to post-acute rehab to ensure that patients are not remaining in hospital for non-medical reasons. Although there has been a recent emphasis on the negative effect of early discharge upon older patients it should also be remembered that staying in hospital when it is not medically indicated also has a negative impact upon a patient’s health, wellbeing and ability to regain independence.
In conclusion, the report correctly identifies the urgent need for funding for intermediate care services and the benefit such investment will have on patient outcomes and the effective management of NHS resources.”
See also: Why is it more difficult than ever for older people to leave hospital? (Professor David Oliver's blog on the King's Fund website)