West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Delayed Transfer of Care numbers halved

New strategies help to drive figures down

2018 Woman with carer at Birchwood Care Home

Issued on: 26 June 2018

Sometimes referred to as 'bed blocking', the Delayed Transfer of Care (DTOC) figure reflects those patients who are ready to leave hospital or a similar care provider (for example to go home or to a supported care facility), but cannot for various reasons and still occupy a bed.

A number of strategies have been employed by the West Berkshire DTOC Team to bring down the total, including a greater use of the 'step down' beds at the council's Birchwood Care Home (recently refurbished after the council took it over from the previous provider), a focussed approach from the council's Reablement Team to allow more people to regain their independence and live at home, the introduction of a Link Worker at Prospect Park Hospital to identify opportunities to safely discharge mental health patients, and improvements in our working with health partners.

Evidence that these measures are working comes from figures recently published on the NHS website that show a significant improvement.  In April 2017, 950 'bed days' were reported, but by April 2018 this has dropped to 469 - a decrease of 51%.

Councillor Graham Bridgman, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Adult Social Care said:

"These figures reflect the hard work and dedication shown by everyone involved in the DTOC process, whether on the frontline or behind the scenes, and show that collaboration with our NHS colleagues is working for the good of our residents. 

"The transfer of care when someone is ready to leave hospital is vital to their progressive path to recovery and, by continuing to work together with the individuals and our partners, I am hopeful that we will see DTOC figures driven down further."