Patient in hospital for weeks due to backlog in social care, according to NHS Wales

Ford, Roger

Roger remarked, "It would be much better if I were out there than in here.".

At the Royal Gwent Hospital, from the window next to his bed, the 69-year-old cast longing glances across Newport.

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Though he is now sufficiently well to leave and is eager to do so, he is unable to.

I'm feeling a little down, but I still have a smile on my face," he admitted.

"I have no idea when I will be able to return home. Crossing my fingers, please. because a significant difference will be made. ".

When he will be able to return home is a mystery to Roger.

Because of the effects of his recent illness and the cerebral palsy he was born with, Roger requires additional care before he can return home without risk.

He is currently confined to a ward without televisions. He uses his phone to watch whatever he can find.

Roger isn't by himself.

According to senior nurse Helen Price, "at least a quarter of patients in our care of the elderly beds are in a similar situation.".

When it comes to getting that care, she said, "it is very much a waiting game.".

The most recent statistics show that hospitals in Wales are more full than ever.

More than 95% of all acute beds in the Welsh NHS were occupied in the last week of January, which is the highest percentage ever.

Not only do these delays affect specific patients and staff members, but also the work of the entire health board.

There are more than 350 patients who are medically able to leave the hospital, according to Paul Underwood, who oversees urgent care at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

It's very challenging to accommodate the roughly one-third of patients who don't require accommodations on those sites, he said.

Paul Underwood
According to Paul Underwood, well over 350 patients are in a condition to be discharged.

These bottlenecks are frequently out of the NHS's control, with local governments largely in charge of social care.

However, the impact on the health service is significant, with hospitals being more crowded than ever.

There are numerous other patients awaiting beds for every patient like Roger who is waiting to leave.

Only two acute beds are available across the entire health board on the day of my visit. Yet more patients keep arriving.

The Grange University Hospital's emergency department
One of Wales' busiest emergency rooms is at The Grange University Hospital.

Six miles north of the Royal Gwent, at the Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran, I see the effects firsthand in one of the busiest emergency rooms in Wales.

The majority of the department's beds or trolleys, as well as the waiting area, are already full by mid-morning. In total, there are 68 patients present.

Frances Evans, 85, from Tredegar, is one of them. A chest injury is being investigated in her case. However, she had spent the day before eight hours in the back of an ambulance outside the hospital.

She recalled, "I was in the ambulance from ten in the morning until six in the evening.". And because it was so crowded, I had to travel back and forth for the tests. ".

Frances thinks that "some people abuse the system" and that the NHS "has a lot too much to do.".

But I find it interesting that staff members claim this morning is "relatively pleasant" in comparison to a lot of what they have gone through this winter.

There have been days when the department has seen more than 200 patients, according to lead nurse Claire Parks, who calls these numbers "record-breaking.".

She added that some patients were "waiting in chairs" for days, calling the holiday season "some of the worst I've seen in 25 years in emergency care.".

"You do feel like crying when you leave because you aren't providing the level of care that you would like. ".

A representative for the Welsh government said: "We are investing record sums in health and care services, among other things, to help health boards improve flow through the healthcare system.

"This winter, we secured more than 600 additional community beds and social care packages to help patients receive care closer to home instead of in hospitals, and we're working to provide even more. ".

When a car squeals up to the front door of the A&E, it becomes abundantly clear how important having extra space is.

A new mother is sitting in the front passenger seat. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics rush to assist.

Mother and infant are taken to Resus [Resuscitation] in a matter of seconds.

Dr. Owain Chandler, a consultant in the department, said: "That's a good example of why we always need capacity because we don't know what's around the corner.".

The risk was that occasionally we would have had to bring them into Resus without a cubicle prepared, scanning the room for the patient who is the least ill we can remove. and performing that haphazardly. ".

But today's result is a happy one.

A few hours later, as Andrea and Adam Sheppard are getting ready to leave for the day, I meet baby William on the maternity ward.

Nothing was lacking, according to the staff, Adam said.

"The paramedic arrived, and then four or five more people arrived at the door. sufficient staff to assist. ".

There were "no problems," Andrea affirmed, adding with a big smile that "the baby is perfect.".

The staff's willingness to go above and beyond in the face of constant pressure has earned them the family's eternal gratitude.

Perhaps a glimmer of hope during what has been the NHS's darkest winter.

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