Patient still not discharged from Russells Hall Hospital after 490 days

A patient has spent almost 500 days in a bed at Russells Hall Hospital waiting to be discharged, it has been revealed.

The patient, believed to be an elderly woman, has been medically fit to leave hospital for a staggering 16 months but remains in a bed. 

The delay is understood to surround moving the patient into the social care system. Care bosses at Dudley Council said they were in discussions with the patient's family to try and find a solution.

But senior Dudley councillor Ian Kettle called the 490-day hold-up a waste of resources and said it could have cost 100 people a bed at the hospital. It comes as it was revealed the A&E at Russells Hall has had to cope with an extra 30 patients a day this year. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, social care boss at Dudley Council, said:

“The safety and welfare of an individual is always our priority. In this case, we have been working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the patient’s family to find and agree a solution that provides the best possible care."

Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Trust, which runs Russells Hall, added:

"We are aware the family of the patient are in discussion with Dudley CCG and Dudley Council about finding an amicable resolution. The reason the patient has not left hospital is a matter between the family and partner organisations."

But Councillor Kettle, who sits on the council's cabinet, said the long delay in getting the patient discharged was unacceptable. He said:

"We talk about the management of the health service. Most people would regard this as absurd and they appear to be doing very little about it.

"It is rather alarming one individual can take up a bed for this long. If the average person spends four or five days in hospital that is 100 people that could have used the facility."

In March, it was revealed bed blocking had reached an 'all-time high' at Russells Hall, when more than 150 patients ready to be discharged taking up beds on the wards.

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