Lack of community care is responsible for crisis in hospitals, meeting hears

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 20 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1851
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Hospitals filled with patients who do not need to be there have brought the urgent care system to the verge of failure, a meeting was told on 19 March. “We need change immediately,” said Mark Newbold, chief executive of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in Birmingham. “It’s imperative.”

The problem was not that patients had been admitted inappropriately but that they could not be discharged because they had nowhere to go.

“Twenty years ago there used to be a lot of non-ill patients on the wards,” he said. “That’s no longer true. Our problem is the inability to discharge patients who no longer need acute care, because there is nowhere for them to go. There is not enough support in …

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