The closure of a care home led to a rise in “blocked” hospital beds, a new report shows.
Muirhead Care Home in Alford closed in August after the Care Inspectorate found highly distressing conditions, including residents tied to chairs with belts and not getting enough food.
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership had to find homes for 29 residents and some had to go to hospital temporarily.
A new partnership report said this led to a rise in “blocked beds”, where a hospital bed cannot be used by someone who is sick because it is taken up by someone who is well.
The report said there were 71 such incidents involving Aberdeenshire residents in August, compared with 49 in July.
These were at hospitals including Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.
The report said the increase was “as a result of a number of factors, including the closure of a care home”.
It added: “This increase represented a concerning change from a position of relative stability.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
However, the figure fell to 56 in September and to 36 in January.
There has been longer-term progress too.
In November 2014, it meant beds were unavailable for a total of 3,289 days due to bed blocking involving Aberdeenshire residents, compared with 1,580 days this January.
One of the reasons, said the report, is due to the partnership forming a delayed discharge implementation group, bringing together representatives of NHS Grampian, councils, charities and voluntary groups to reduce cases.
“A one-day rapid improvement was held on February 6 to review current challenges and identify deliverable actions to increase the resilience of the discharge process,” said the report, which will be presented to the partnership’s integration joint board at Woodhill House at 10am tomorrow.