West Berkshire helping to clear hospital 'bed blockers'
West Berkshire Council has confirmed that it has been told to help hospitals clear one in three beds to prepare for a peak in Omicron cases.
NHS England and NHS Improvement South East has launched “Operation Re-set” to discharge fit patients in acute hospitals by the end of the week.
It focuses on those medically fit to be released, also called bed blockers.
According to the latest official figures, 1,326 of these patients were still occupying beds as of January 2.
“Things are always difficult for the system during the winter period but of course this year Covid-19 is adding to those usual winter-related pressures in a very significant way,” said Paul Coe, West Berkshire’s director for adult social care.
“There is a very sharp focus on supporting people to leave hospital as soon as they are well enough.
“It is also critical to make sure that arrangements are safe and, for some people, their support requirements can be extensive as well as complicated.
“Wherever possible, people will go home if it is safe to do so.”
The council is working with independent care providers to help them manage the current demands as well as encouraging new providers to move into the area.
“The main challenge at the moment is that all of the Health and Social Care partners are seeing the same business continuity challenges as other businesses, with high levels of staff absence due to Covid-19 transmission,” he added.
“Because of that, we are encouraging all staff in the sector to access the vaccination and booster jabs, and we are working with partners to support that to happen. This includes a targeted message to relevant staff about available offers for walk-in vaccination, and visits from a mobile vaccination service.”