Report shows government is 'shunting problems' onto community services, says CSP

A report outlining how government decisions to alleviate pressure on acute hospitals may be 'shunting problems onto community services' shows that warnings made by the CSP earlier this year are now being realised.


The details from the Nuffield Trust, backed up by FOI data and reported by the Health Service Journal, suggest that the CSP's concern about patients being stranded further through the NHS system may be bearing out.

The report says that the number of patients 'fit for discharge' from community hospitals rose sharply in January, at exactly the same time the UK government was taking steps to try and reduce pressure on acute hospitals. It is suggested that the efforts to speed up discharge of patients from acute hospitals, has simply moved the pressure onto community settings.

In January, a £200m plan was announced, to which the CSP responded, saying that while the intervention was much needed, efforts must be made to ensure people don't become stranded in other parts of the system.

Reacting to the most recent HSJ report, CSP director, Rob Yeldham, said: 'The figures revealed by the Nuffield Trust and reported by the HSJ appear to confirm exactly the concerns we had in January. When the UK government announced that it would be buying extra capacity in community settings, in order to alleviate the pressure on acute settings, the CSP cautioned that patients were at risk of being stranded again.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the CSP’s warning has borne out, with figures showing that many have, indeed, found themselves stranded once more

'Urgent action must therefore be taken to heed the words of the CSP and ensure the workforce and rehab is available to patients to ensure they are able to go home, and not be moved around the NHS, simply to wait multiple times.'

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