Oxfordshire bucks trend in hospital delays


The numbers of people delayed in Oxfordshire's hospital beds when they no longer need to be there has fallen more than 45 per cent.

The latest figures are in marked contrast to national numbers which saw Delayed Transfers of Care (DToC) rise by 25 per cent between May 2015 and May 2016.

The improvement in Oxfordshire is the result of a joint initiative by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford Health and Oxfordshire County Council, to move people out of hospital more quickly when they have been appropriately treated and no longer need to be there.

New initiative

The £2m initiative, launched in December 2015, includes: funding extra temporary care home beds where people can stay until they are ready to return to their own home or move to a permanent care home; and the recruitment of more home care staff to support people in their own homes.Previously the Oxfordshire had been at the bottom of the DToC 'league table' across the country.

David Smith, chief executive of Oxfordshire CCG, said: "These encouraging figures demonstrate that targeted spending and excellent cooperation between the NHS and our social care partners has made a real difference to many older, frail patients.

"Fewer people are now getting delayed in hospital beds. We have made it possible for them to move to more appropriate settings where they can make a quicker recovery after treatment."

Consistent focus

John Jackson, the county council's director for Adult Social Care, said: "These improvements have resulted from a consistent focus across all agencies in tackling this issue and the oversight of democratically elected councillors in scrutinising the situation. The multi-disciplinary hub, led by a senior nurse but involving a range of professionals including social workers, has also been instrumental.

"All agencies in Oxfordshire have a continuing ambition to do ever more to reduce further delayed transfers in Oxfordshire."

Paul Brennan, director of Clinical Services at Oxford University Hospitals, said: "This is good news for these patients who have received assessment and care in a more appropriate environment than an acute or community hospital while their ongoing care plans are arranged.

"Feedback from patients and their relatives has been very positive and overall this demonstrates the need to focus on service provision rather than beds."

Close joint-working

Dominic Hardisty, chief operating officer at Oxford Health, said: "This demonstrates the value of close joint working across the health and care systems.

"A huge number of staff have contributed to this across all our organisations and we’d like to thank them for their efforts, working across boundaries to improve people’s care."