THE Green party in south Shropshire claims delays in transferring people from ambulances into hospitals is causing a massive loss of resource at the county’s major hospitals.

Based on figures obtained, including from Freedom of Information requests, South Shropshire Green Party ‘Healthy Greens’ team claim that, over a recent 12 month period, the delayed discharges of patients following their Shropshire main hospitals’ treatments amount to the equivalent of the loss of 53 years of unavailable but vitally needed inpatient hospital bed capacity.

They say that in 12 months to October last year, 19,560 bed days were lost for incoming patients. Recovering patients, though fit to move from hospital, are unable to be discharged to a clinically safe setting.

These lost bed days could and should have accommodated 4,347 patients leaving A&E, for a national average 4.5 day’s inpatient stay. That’s 12 patients who cannot be moved from A&E to inpatients’ beds every single day, according to the party’s calculations.

“No wonder our Shropshire A&E’s cannot meet the national target to transfer patients into a hospital bed,” said Shropshire Councillor and former A&E Sister Julia Evans

Over 12 months over14,000 patients could not be moved from A&E into inpatients. So the way out of A&E is blocked, which means that the way into A&E is blocked, so ambulances cannot unload seriously ill patients into A&E, so ambulances queue outside our two emergency hospitals and as a consequence unavailable to attend the next seriously ill or injured patient.”

“What a terrible mess, delivering unacceptable stress for patients their families and valiant medical staff and delayed emergency care.”