To solve bed blocking problems in the region’s hospitals we need to provide better aftercare

The small hospitals that used to provide aftercare have now been shut, leading to bed blocking in ou

The small hospitals that used to provide aftercare have now been shut, leading to bed blocking in our major hospitals, says David Coe. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire - Credit: PA

It was common practice for many years that people in hospital who had had their operation and needed only a short period of recuperation afterwards were automatically transferred to one of the many small cottage hospitals scattered all over Norfolk if it was not possible for them to go straight home.

That has now changed because all these valuable small hospitals have nearly all been closed down for financial reasons and the large hospitals today find that many patients who are fit enough for clinical reasons to be discharged are left bed blocking, because there is no care available for them outside for a short period and nothing available for them to go straight back home.

Why has there been no temporary or long-term solution to this increasing problem been found?

My own solution to this serious problem would be to think outside the box. One idea that comes to mind would be to enable the residents to be transferred to one large modern complex and use these old homes for bed blockers who needed no more hospital treatment but could not be moved out.

They would only be there in these old homes for a short time until a proper care home could be found for them or a care package arranged for them in their own homes.