On 12 March 2020 an episode of the programme Hospital featured Hari, a child diagnosed with myotubular myopathy. The programme followed Hari’s story and was about situations that cause hospital beds to be blocked.
For the last ten years, NHS staff have been working to meet the ever-rising demand of patients coming through the front door but increasingly, there is another pressure – after they admit a patient to hospital and have treated them, how and when will they get them out again?
With NHS ‘bed blocking’ numbers at their highest level since 2017, for those who are medically fit to leave, multi billion pound cuts to social and community care services have left a shortage of care home beds, equipment, staff and housing, effectively stranding these patients in hospital. With a duty to oversee safe discharges, this leaves the NHS no choice but to keep these medically fit patients in hospital.
Nationally every year, 330,000 patients are staying in hospital for more than 21 days. To the NHS, these people as known as ‘super stranded’. Hari is one of these patients.