Bed blocking at Peterborough City Hospital is four times the maximum level a major acute hospital should tolerate.
Neil Doverty, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said yesterday (Wednesday, April 20) that an “unacceptably high” total of 55 patients who were medically fit were unable to leave as transfer of care had been delayed.
He said: “We have 55 patients who are medically fit to leave hospital but whose transfer of care has been delayed, which is unacceptably high.
“This represents four times the maximum level we should tolerate as a major acute hospital.
“This is seriously affecting patient flow and we are frustrated at the lack of adequate response from statutory partners.”
Cambridgeshire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Cambridgeshire and the Peterborough Foundation Trust were named as the partners with the most delays.
Speaking yesterday, Lynne Bucknell, hospital services commissioning manager for Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Delayed transfers of care from hospital happen for a variety of reasons.
“At Peterborough City Hospital, over 90 per cent of Lincolnshire residents waiting to be discharged are the responsibility of the NHS. In those cases where Lincolnshire County Council are responsible, we are absolutely committed to getting people home from hospital as soon as they are medically fit for discharge.
“But we prioritise their safety and will only support someone home with appropriate care and support to make sure they don’t become unwell again.
“Currently there are there people where Lincolnshire County Council is responsible who are awaiting discharge from Peterborough hospital. We have staff working with patients, families and health professionals to get people home safely.”
Sarah Warner, chief operating officer for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said: “CPFT works very closely with Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (PSHFT) to help relieve the issues around patient flow.
“We always look to provide assistance to PSHFT, including when it was on black alert last week.
“Within the last 48 hours we made it clear we have further intermediate care support available, but not all patients are suitable for the services we provide.
“We remain committed to working with all our partners and doing all we can to ease pressures in the local health system.”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Figures change on a daily basis, but as of today (Wednesday) Cambridgeshire has four delayed transfers of care at Peterborough hospital.
“We have already discharged a further three people today, and the remaining four will be progressed as quickly, and as carefully, as possible – and as we would do in all cases to ensure patients’ needs are appropriately met upon discharge.
“The major increase in admissions presents challenges to all organisations, but we have dedicated staff based in the hospital who work with hospital colleagues on a daily basis to ensure we do all we can to enable a timely discharge for people with social care needs.”