Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Caring Way to Free Up Patient Beds

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Caring Way to Free Up Patient Beds

Article excerpt

Byline: By Julie Cush

Newcastle Council chiefs are trying to avoid a pounds 500,000 Government fine by easing the pressure on over-stretched hospitals.

From October, the Government plans to fine councils pounds 100 per day for every patient who is in hospital unnecessarily when they should be being cared for by social services.

But Newcastle chiefs are hoping to avoid the punishment after opening a newly refurbished centre in Byker to care for so-called "bed-blockers" as well as the over 65s whose carers need a break.

On any given day in Newcastle's three main hospitals, the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Freeman and the General, there are 60 delayed discharge patients taking up beds needed for emergency patients.

The revamped Chirton Resource Centre in Pedlam Way, Byker, is the latest of three to open in Newcastle in the last three years to tackle the problem.

Lynn Dougan, care services manager at the centre, which has 20 beds, said: "Chirton has undergone a complete revamp over the last 18 months. …

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