Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Bed blocking in Bromley.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 10 May 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:1253
  1. J Coid,
  2. P Crome


    A point prevalence survey of all acute beds in the Bromley district found that more than one in 10 patients were classified by their doctors as bed blockers (one in five in the medical wards). There were appreciable clinical and demographic differences distinguishing bed blockers from patients whose stay had been prolonged and who were judged as still requiring acute beds. Social and administrative problems also contributed to bed blocking so that further action by geriatricians, psychogeriatricians, and social workers was required to reduce the numbers. A substantial proportion of bed blockers, however, were highly dependent and could be transferred only to long stay wards or nursing homes. Bed blocking seems inevitable in wards that are attempting to cope with the steadily increasing proportion of elderly patients according to traditional models of acute care.