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Norfolk Stairlifts supports NHS England & The BHTA to reduce bedblocking

Norfolk Stairlifts supports the drive to reduce bed blocking.

 

Norfolk Stairlifts are proud members of the British Healthcare Trades Association.

The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) is one of the UK’s oldest and largest healthcare

associations (founded in 1917). Its membership – of almost 500 companies employing over 17,000

people – comprises both large and small businesses across the many non-pharmaceutical and

assistive technology sectors of the healthcare industry, manufacturing, supplying and serving those

with special physical needs and specialist healthcare areas, too.

                   

The BHTA has joined in with NHS England to reduce hospital stays and bed blocking.

They have stated their position as follows;

Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference In June 2018, Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton, the Chief Executives of NHS England and NHS Improvement, announced plans to improve patient care by cutting long hospital stays. Delayed transfer of care causes distress for patients and their families and is a particular problem for many older people, especially those who are frail and may have dementia. Their conditions often deteriorate whilst in hospital and there can be significant muscle wastage due to lack of physical activity.

The number of ‘delayed days’ has been reduced significantly in the last two years, but is still far higher than the figures for 2010, as the health and social care system struggles to cope with the consequences of considerable demographic changes. More rapid assessment in hospital, addressing the shortage of Occupational Therapists, and greater provision of Trusted Trained Assessors could all help to address the problem. Everyone agrees that greater integration of health and social care systems is crucial. There is already some evidence of how delayed transfer of care can be reduced, and cost savings achieved to fund other aspects of healthcare, where relevant budgets are combined, as in Greater Manchester.  Investment in research and development has also enabled British manufacturers and suppliers to provide some of the best equipment in the world to help more elderly and disabled people live independently out of hospital. More rapid assessment of the need for community equipment, and a more appropriate procurement process prioritising speed of delivery, could assist significantly in reducing the scale of the problem to everyone’s benefit.  Too many patients wait too long for specialist equipment such as stairlifts or hoists to be provided in their homes before they can be discharged. When needs have been assessed, tenders for the necessary equipment are very largely based upon price (inevitably) and to a lesser degree on quality. But speed of delivery and the opportunity to reduce ‘bed blocking’ should also be a significant priority.

This paper demonstrates how a more holistic and structured procurement process with a focus on effective delivery of homecare equipment and services can have major impact on speeding up hospital discharges and improving overall healthcare provision.

 

Norfolk County Council have been proactive in this drive by embedding staff within the NHS on a trial basis;

 

In Norfolk, managers from the District Councils and the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation

Trust (NNUH) decided to work together with the aim of reducing the number of patients waiting a long time to

be discharged due to non-medical housing and lifestyle problems. A District Council Officer worked at the NNUH

within the acute hospital’s integrated discharge team for a 12-week pilot.

A set of initial triage questions was implemented to help identify patients who might benefit from District Council

services and advice. These questions were checked at the point of admission by the ward-based Discharge Coordinators

(DisCos) as a general screening tool. Formal consent was sought from the patients where a potential

need was identified, for the District Council Officer to attend the ward.

When patients were well enough, bespoke action plans were discussed and agreed, for housing and other lifestyle

needs on discharge from the hospital.

 

The BHTA goes on to say…

 

Patients do not want to stay in hospital longer than necessary, their conditions often deteriorate and the costs of

delayed discharge, or transfer of care, is a huge waste of money as they wait for assessment, and in some cases, for

their homes to be adapted in order that they can be adopted in order to facilitate discharge.

It is often the case that the provision of appropriate equipment, such as stairlifts or even basic handrails, could have

prevented admissions in the first place. According to the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 40% of ambulance

call outs arise from falls, which are the most common cause of death from injury in the over 65s and are also the single

biggest reason for emergency hospital admissions for older people.

A 2012 study 2 commissioned by the BHTA highlighted the business case for investing in aids and adaptations to keep

people safe at home and reduce the costs associated with falls, hospitalisation, operations and improving quality of life.

It showed the significant net savings to government that resulted from such provision.

The continuing division between NHS and local government procurement policies means that many people do not

get the equipment that they need provided to them in timely fashion, and overall taxpayer expenditure increases

significantly and unnecessarily.

Patients do not want to stay in hospital longer than necessary, their conditions often deteriorate and the costs of

delayed discharge, or transfer of care, is a huge waste of money as they wait for assessment, and in some cases, for

their homes to be adapted in order that they can be adopted in order to facilitate discharge.

It is In Durham, the County Council put out a tender for the supply and maintenance of stairlifts across the county. A local

company, based in the region, unsuccessfully bid for the contract. Their tender was slightly more expensive than others

(by an average of £40 per stairlift) but they were able, within around five days of identification of need, to install the lifts,

whilst other bidders could take up to four weeks.

The ‘saving’ to the council by accepting the lowest tender resulted in significant additional expenditure for the NHS as a

result of delayed discharges. often the case that the provision of appropriate equipment, such as stairlifts or even basic handrails, could have

prevented admissions in the first place. According to the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 40% of ambulance

call outs arise from falls, which are the most common cause of death from injury in the over 65s and are also the single

biggest reason for emergency hospital admissions for older people 1.

A 2012 study 2 commissioned by the BHTA highlighted the business case for investing in aids and adaptations to keep

people safe at home and reduce the costs associated with falls, hospitalisation, operations and improving quality of life.

It showed the significant net savings to government that resulted from such provision.

The continuing division between NHS and local government procurement policies means that many people do not

get the equipment that they need provided to them in timely fashion, and overall taxpayer expenditure increases.

 

 

Norfolk Stairlifts Comment

 

This article and analysis appears to confirm that the strong need for local authorities to always push for the lowest price for adaptations can be counter productive.   A small increase in cost but a reduced lead time for provision of the adaptation will produce an overall lower cost and also free up much needed bed space.

Norfolk Stairlifts are often requested to install stairlifts very quickly to enable patients to return home as quickly as possible.  We do this on a grant basis as well as for private clients.

We can, if required, install a straight stairlift within a few days of our surveyor visiting the property.

Curved stairlifts can be installed in as little as 7 days.

 

We have showrooms located in Hingham NR9 4LF and in Beccles NR34 9TT.

Norfolk Stairlifts is an independent company that installs stairlifts throughout Norfolk and Suffolk.

 

We offer new and reconditioned stairlifts and install stairlifts for both private customers and for 7 District Councils including Breckland, Waveney, South Norfolk and West Norfolk & Kings Lynn.

At Norfolk Stairlifts, we understand how a stairlift can literally change people’s lives.

 

We know this because we have installed over 3,000 stairlifts throughout Norfolk and Suffolk and have seen the difference a stairlift can make.

To arrange a no obligation survey or to ask us about anything stairlift related, please click here.

For advice and assistance on choosing the right stairlift for you or your loved one, please call 01953 850 004 or visit;   norfolkstairlifts.co.uk

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