A total of 220 NGH patients have been in their bed for three weeks, on any given day

NGH said it is taking steps to get people home earlier
NGH said it is taking steps to get people home earlier

High numbers of people are staying in Northampton General Hospital for several weeks as managers struggle to cope with slow discharges.

Although the average length of stay for patients is five days, latest figures show that on one particular day, 220 people had been in the hospital for 21 days or more.

The hospital has a longstanding problem with helping healthy patients get home as soon as they are able and admits in its latest board papers slow discharges are a problem.

Reasons for the delays are various and the papers cite almost no vacancies in care homes "insufficient capacity within the home support services"

NGH said it is doing all it can to free up beds.

"Executive-led delays meetings take place every week to review the longest-staying patients in the trust. This is being strengthened with the new deputy director of medicine.

"[Analysis will take place with] NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare to identify if there are patients that they could pull out of NGH. Holcot ward will be first to trial this.

As well as this, Spencer House and Cliftonville care homes across the road - which take high numbers of recuperating patients - are now being clinically overseen by a GP surgery. it is hoped more consistent medical cover will and reduce lengths of stay there, with a positive knock-on effect for the hospital.