Yesterday, Andrew asked the Prime Minister for assurances that her Government will support community hospitals, like those in Warminster and Shaftesbury, in order to limit the issue of bed-blocking in major regional hospitals ahead of the winter season.
'I know that the Prime Minister shares my concern at the level of acute hospital bed blocking. Does she agree that part of the solution is to promote community hospital beds, where they still exist in places such as Warminster and Shaftesbury, as part of the sustainability and transformation planning process?'
'As regards the STP process, of course, that will take place at local level—it will be at the local level that these proposals will be considered and put forward by local clinicians—but the concept of being able to deal with bed blocking in a variety of ways is absolutely right. There are good examples around the country of where having those step-down beds available is actually resolving the problem of bed blocking. There are other ways in which that is being done—in those parts of the country where social workers are being employed by hospital trusts, for example. But is it very good to recognise the good practice when it is being done, and we shall see more of that across the country.'
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