Thursday 23 May 2019
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Hampshire hospital discharge system 'causing mayhem'

A council has said its new system for placing hospital patients in care homes has caused some "regrettable delays".

Hampshire County Council said its centralised "brokerage service", which started in 2017, had been designed to free up social workers for other tasks.

However, the White Rock nursing home in Barton-on-Sea said 10 of its 30 beds were empty due to a lack of referrals.

General manager Karen Harrison said the new system had caused "complete and utter mayhem".

'Crisis point'

She said the vacancies arose in December when several of the home's residents died during a flu outbreak.

"We are at crisis point because we can't fill our beds," Ms Harrison said.

"Social workers are pulling their hair out because they are not allowed to refer patients any more... they have to rely on this central brokerage system and it just isn't working."

She said the home, which was nearly always full before, needed to fill 27 beds to break even.

Hampshire County Council said most of its clients had been found accommodation quickly, although it declined to give numbers.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, in charge of adult social care, said: "We recognise that there have been some cases where there have been delays, which is regrettable.

"We are working hard to address this so that everyone leaving hospital who requires residential or nursing care receives it promptly."

White Rock's nearest hospital, Lymington New Forest, said it had seen no change in the number of patients waiting to be discharged to care homes.