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West Lothian Council, Lothian NHS Board and West Lothian Healthcare NHS ...
West Lothian Council, Lothian NHS Board and West Lothian Healthcare NHS

Trust have been working closely to minimise the number of people who are

waiting to be released from hospital.

West Lothian currently has the lowest number of people waiting to be

released from hospital in the Lothians.

In a two-pronged approach to the issue of delayed discharges the council has

also significantly increased the resources available to purchase residential

and nursing care for patients. This year almost twice as many people are

being placed than the same period last year.

The latest statistics reveal:

*Sixteen people are in the process of being assessed (14 of whom are

within the agreed timeframe of eight weeks)

* Seventeen people who have been assess are awaiting identification

of placement (16 are within jointly agreed targets)

*Two people are awaiting services at home

Convener of the West Lothian Council's health and care committee,

Heather Smart said: 'These figures are very encouraging and confirm that the

strategies we have in place to ensure that all delays in discharge are

minimised are working. Only the most critical cases, where there would be

serious risk to the health or emotional well being of the patient if they

were being discharged, remain.

'We intend to build on this success by developing new services which will

support even earlier discharges.'

Brian Cavanagh, chair Lothian NHS Board, said: 'It is inappropriate that

elderly people should have to remain in hospital if they don't need to be

there. NHS Lothian and our local authority colleagues are working together

to resolve this issue and these are just some of a range of innovative

options to address this problem.

'NHS Lothian is committed to reducing the numbers of people awaiting

discharge from hospital and these latest figures are very encouraging. I

want to thank all the staff involved for their hard work and commitment to

make this happen.'

Medical Director of West Lothian Healthcare NHS Trust, Brian Montgomery

said: 'The trust welcomes the progress made locally in addressing the issue

of delayed discharge. The result is that patients are more quickly being

accommodated in the most appropriate setting for their personal and

healthcare needs. At the same time more hospital beds are being freed up to

meet the needs of acutely ill patients.

'These achievements are the result of shared goals and strong partnership

working between the Trust and colleagues in West Lothian Council.

Appreciation is due to staff in both the Trust and the council for their

considerable efforts and commitment to high-quality patient care.'

Initiatives which support early discharge include:

*Community care assessments are prioritised - there is currently no

waiting list for people in hospital requiring such an assessment in West


*A partnership approach to a home aid equipment store

*SMART technology helps to support vulnerable people in their own


*A robust framework for monitoring and managing all vacancies in

residential and nursing homes has been developed A policy which enables

patients to be looked after in a residential or nursing home - on a

temporary basis - until their preferred option becomes available

*A partnership approach to monitoring discharge patterns

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