REDUCING patient hospital stays is costing South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) an extra £1.6 million this year – but hospital stays have been slashed by up to 17 days.
The Discharge to Assess scheme, launched last year, focuses on older patients leaving hospital as soon as they are medically fit and receiving additional care in nursing homes or at their own home.
The benefits are already apparent, with patients leaving hospital up to 17 days early from Ellen Badger and Stratford hospitals and three days early from Warwick.
Last year the scheme – which provides 30 beds at local nursing homes – was funded by South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
But due to lack of funding, SWFT have agreed to pick up the bill.
A trust spokeswoman said: “The scheme has received national recognition and will be essential for the trust moving forward this year.
“As part of changes to the contract this year the CCG have decided not to fund these beds, however as it is so critical to our plans for winter we have decided to fund these beds ourselves. “They not only provide better care for patients but also reduces cost by ensuring patients are treated in the most appropriate setting.”
SWFT hope the scheme will be funded by the CCG next year.