[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 13:01 GMT
Bed-blocking issue revealed
"Bed-blocking" stops patients being admitted to hospital
More than 300 patients are taking up hospital beds unnecessarily in Northern Ireland, according to new statistics.

BBC Northern Ireland's health correspondent, Dot Kirby, said figures from acute hospitals showed that 306 patients were being cared for who, according to doctors, were ready to be discharged.

She said about 17 people had been waiting in hospital for more than six months after a doctor had said that they could go home.

"These 'delayed discharges' block hospital beds and stop someone else being admitted. They cost the health service millions of pounds every year."

The correspondant added that sometimes people stayed in hospital longer than necessary because there was no money to pay for support within the community or because there was no place available in a nursing or residential home.

"More often than not, it is the patient's own choice not to take up whatever is being offered to move them on. For example, they want to go to a particular home but there isn't a bed there," she said.




SEE ALSO:
Record numbers wait on trolleys
06 Jan 04  |  Northern Ireland
Big increase in trolley waits
04 Mar 03  |  Northern Ireland
Trolley waits at all time high
14 Nov 02  |  Northern Ireland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific