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Bed Blocking

Volume 401: debated on Friday 14 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to tackle bed blocking in York and North Yorkshire. [95202]

The Department of Health has been proactive in a number of areas to help improve the problems arising from delays in patients being discharged from hospitals in York and North Yorkshire.In 2002— funding of £2.3 million has been available to local authorities in North Yorkshire, through the Building Care Capacity Grant to reduce delay in discharging people from hospital.The change agent team has also been engaged to assist the City of York, York Health Services NHS Trust, and the Selby & York Primary Care Trust to review and devise a more strategic approach to ensuring effective patient care, assessment and placement.

Funding has also been made available to the York and North Yorkshire Councils under the Innovations Fund to help with the assessment processes and intermediate care.

The Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Bill will also help tackle the problem by making councils responsible for meeting the costs to the national health service of delayed discharges where the councils' interventions could prevent the delay.