The team working to ensure fewer Sheffield patients spend Christmas in hospital
It is hoped that improvements to Sheffield’s adult social care services will mean that fewer people will have to spend Christmas in hospital this year.
Following four and a half years of hard work, health services have been able to get more people cared for and returned home sooner than previous years.
Sara Storey, interim director of adult social care, gave an update on how they were performing to Sheffield Council’s adult social care committee during a meeting earlier this week.
She said: “It’s not quite blood, sweat and tears that have gone into winter planning and reducing delays but I’ve personally spent many hours over at the Northern General Hospital in previous winters as head of access and prevention and a lot of the staff and the people there are really focused on trying to help people get home from hospital as quickly as they can.”
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She said they had gradually made changes over the years to improve how they can support people in care and added: “It’s been really challenging, it’s been a lot of hard work from a lot of staff but we’ve actually got a really positive story to tell on delayed transfers for care and winter planning.
“I was at the Northern General on the Friday before Christmas knowing we were under our target for number of delayed transfers to care. What that means in people terms is we had about 80 less people stuck in hospitals for Christmas day last year than what we did the previous year and I felt a very strong sense of satisfaction about that.”
The NHS gave them a target a few years ago to stay under 45 patients and they said they have managed to keep it under that for most of the past year and now feel like they are on course for an even more positive winter.
She said: “I’m pleased to report we maintained a stable position through the year.
“Obviously it’s gone up and down a little bit but for the majority of this year we have been under that target number.”