Delays in building Oakhaven care home replacement.

The Council are saying that the opening of the replacement for the Oakhaven care home on York Road will be delayed until the end of 2019 “at the earliest”.

The existing home was closed in 2015 and most recently was used as a homeless hostel.

Bed availability trends

A Council report reveals that there will still be a shortfall in residential care places for the elderly of 654 by 2020. This is slightly down on the inherited shortfall of 701.

“Extra Care” facilities – like those planned for Oakhaven – should reduce the excess of demand over supply from 330 to 9 by 2020.

The number of care beds available has remained fairly level over recent years while the number of delayed discharges from hospital (so called “bed blocking”) remains high as the winter approaches.

The report blames the Councils “partner” for the delays at Oakhaven.

“The delivery of this scheme is running later than originally planned as this procurement was launched later than anticipated due to lengthier examination of the procurement and legal options associated with the plan.

Further delays have occurred as Ashley House develop their design.

At present, we would expect completion of the building, subject to grant of planning permission, in Q3 2019 at the earliest”.

On the Lowfields Plans the report says,

“Plans for the development of a care home, health hub, homes (including bungalows and apartments for the over 55s) and public open space at Lowfield Green, in their final draft form, were the subject of further public engagement in July.

Engagement has shown support for the proposed development.

Lowfields school site is overgrown

However, there is strong objection to the development from the Save Lowfields Playing Field Action Group.

We will be ready to submit the planning application for this proposed development in September 2017.

Later in the autumn Executive will be asked to decide if we are to build the new homes ourselves or sell the land so that another developer can do so”.

NB. Opposition to the development at Lowfields centres around the houses planned for the playing field. The elderly persons accommodation proposals enjoy broad support as they are to be built on the “footprint” of the old school buildings.

Bed blocking – Care Quality Commission to probe failings in York

The probe comes in the wake of figures that reveal that the total number of days that patients have were delayed during the year to May 2017 was 10,436.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is reviewing the York health and social care system and delayed transfers of care.

In a report to be considered later this week, the York Council says, “The review will highlight what is working well and where there are opportunities for improving how the system works”

This equates to, on average, 28.6 beds each day being occupied because of delayed discharges, although, during the most recent three-month period, this figure was 24.5.

A delayed transfer of care occurs when a hospital patient is deemed medically fit to be discharged, but cannot be released from hospital because they are awaiting a package of care from either the NHS and/or a local authority

There continues to be a downward trend in the number of days that patients are delayed leaving hospital that are attributable to adult social care.

In 2016/17, on average, patients were delayed for 3.73 days in hospital due to adult social care services.

The Better Care Fund provided the Council and hospitals with finances to work together on a range of measures, including delayed transfer of care, aimed at improving outcomes for NHS and adult social care users in the City of York area.

Beds blocked at York hospital   

There is a continuing problem with delayed discharges at hospital in York. The latest figures suggest that the problem is currently worse in York than elsewhere in the region (and nationally).

Delayed discharges in York

A report to a York Council committee meeting next week makes the following comments on the delayed transfer of care;

This measures the impact of hospital services and community-based care in facilitating timely and appropriate transfer from all hospitals for all adults. This indicates the ability of the whole system to ensure appropriate transfer from hospital for the entire adult population. It is an important marker of the effective joint working of local partners, and is a measure of the effectiveness of the interface between health and social care services.

Discharges are made from Acute and Non Acute Care Pathways.

Discharges from Acute Care Indicators are on Target. Performance has shown a steady improvement over the end of 2015-16 and into the first half of this year”.

However, “discharges from Non Acute Care: Indicators here are not on Target. Performance had shown an improvement in the first quarter, however, from June 2016, an increase in Non Acute Delays, particularly in Mental Health has pushed the numbers back up and off target for the year”.

“The overall indicator is not on target due to the effect of Non Acute Delays in the System. We are taking the learning and processes from our success in Acute Care and applying these to the Non Acute pathway. Since June a Sitrep process has been put in place to monitor delays in Mental Health to mirror that of our Acute and Non Acute Hospital processes. In other areas of the Non-Acute pathway a similar approach to monitoring”.

The effect that “bed blocking” is having on in delaying the admission of new patients requiring hospital services in not stated in the report.

Hospital bed blocking problem in York getting worse

click for full figures
click for full figures
Staggering new figures highlight the problem of NHS ‘bed blocking’ in the York area.

Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign for an emergency cross party commission to solve the crisis in NHS and social care.

The funding crisis in social care means more patients than ever before are stuck in hospital beds longer than they need to be, adding pressure to local hospitals.

Bed blocking figures show in York there were 15 people stuck in hospital beds, despite being well enough to be discharged or transferred to social care.

The shocking figures for York reveal that the number of hospital beds out-of-action because of bed blocking is equivalent to 105 people staying in hospital for an entire week longer than they need to be.

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Norman Lamb has called for a national cross party commission to tackle the funding crisis.

Launching the local campaign today Westfield Liberal Democrats said:

“The NHS and social care face an existential crisis. Demand for services continues to rise year on year but funding is failing to keep up. The position in social care is perhaps even more serious.

“Growing pressures on services are so severe that all parties must come together to fundamentally re-think how we can guarantee the future of the NHS and social care services.

“The Government cannot avoid this issue any longer. Establishing this commission will show they are serious about protecting these vital public services.”

York Council set to ignore problems in York hospital A&E department?

Residents and patients, expecting an update on problems at the York Hospital A&E department, will be disappointed when they read the agenda for the Heath Scrutiny committee taking place on 14th January.

With the York hospital performing worse than others in the region in meeting A&E targets recently, residents might have expected the committee – which now has responsibility for providing oversight of NHS issues in the City – to have received an update on the latest position.

York hospital amb

It seems that this will not be the case.

This is all the more surprising  as among the causes identified nationally for the A&E problems are lack of beds.

In turn this is blamed on lack of care in the community places for patients to move to when they can be released from hospital. The York Council bears part of the responsibility for providing such care places.

One report does reveal that the Council is still overspending its Adult Social Care budgets by over £1 million. In the main this is put down to delays in implementing the new care homes project. The Lowfields Care village – as has been reported on many occasions – is running 3 years behind schedule.

The report says, “the performance for delayed transfers of care from hospital is showing a small increase in line with the national trend

Another report comments on the financial position of the York hospital revealing a surplus of £100,000 in 2013/14 (down on the budget expectation which was £2.4 million).

 The hospitals total budget is around £480 million. The hospital is, however, required to make efficiency savings as revealed in its strategic plan.

Another part of the NHS the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group delivered a £2.12 million surplus last year.

Hopefully the chair of this scrutiny committee will respond to public concerns and ensure that an urgent item is added to the committee agenda.

This will allow an update to be given on the current position at the hospital, the reasons for any failures together with proposals which ensure that standards are achieved in the future.

York Council Leadership promises action on bed blocking.

Bed blocking

NHS England list York as one of the worst communities for speedy hospital discharges

NHS England have today published data click here  showing that in October 2013, the City was one of the worst communities in England for delayed transfer of care.

Of the 28 patients awaiting a move from York hospitals at the end of October, 11 were awaiting care or nursing home placements while 7 were waiting for a care in the community support package.

Both are the responsibility of the York Council to provide

Although the Council Leadership is now promising to fix the problem “within 6 months”, they have failed to explain why the developing crisis has not been mentioned in any of the reports published by members of the Labour Cabinet over the last 6 months.

The Leaders own report, being considered by the Council tomorrow (Thursday), makes no mention of the problems.

Separately, a resident has submitted a Freedom of Information request seeking an explanation for the apparent attempt to cover up the delayed discharges scandal. The wording of the request can be read by clicking here.