We’re reflecting back on a week of media buzz, which saw our client, CHS Healthcare, land the front page of The Telegraph with an article highlighting the challenge the NHS faces of increasing numbers of super stranded patients – those who’ve been in hospital for 21 days or more.
CHS Healthcare support patients out of hospital into care or back home with the right care package. They work in hospitals across the country, alongside NHS teams and could see that the problem of these long stay patients was ongoing and not improving.
The NHS has been charged with reducing the number of super stranded patients in their care and our hypothesis was that they weren’t making enough progress towards this target.
We wanted to reveal the scale of the challenge and the impact on patient flow through the hospital. Using NHS England and NHS Improvement data obtained via freedom of information requests (FOI), we found that there were 330,826 super stranded patients in 2018/19, and that more than 80,000 operations were cancelled in the same period, with bed availability being one of the leading reasons.
Our findings also showed that 87 per cent of NHS trusts (114 out of 130) had not meet the target set by NHS England and NHS Improvement to reduce their numbers of super stranded patients by March 2019.
Alongside the hard data we visualised each trust and their progress on a map, we interviewed family members of patients who had been stranded, developed ‘best practice’ case studies of CHS work within the NHS and developed opinion pieces on the challenge of patient flow.
The Telegraph’s Laura Donnelly covered this data story, and the story ran on the front page of the printed edition on 27 August 2019. The story was also covered by the Health Services Journal (HSJ) on 28 August 2019, and gained regional coverage in the Southend Standard, the Blackpool Gazette and Echo News to name a few.
We were also pleased to see that NHS England launched their ‘where best next’ campaign providing advice and support for trusts to support patients ready to leave out of hospital.
If you want to find more about what we can don’t hesitate to get in touch.