THE ratio of bed-blocked hospital patients is more than double a target, latest figures show.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust clinical director Paul Brennan said delays “remain a major cause of concern”.

Bed-blocked patients are ready to leave hospital but cannot because community services are not available.

Official figures show Oxfordshire was the worst area out of 151 in England in the 12 months to March.

May figures show 8.2 per cent of occupied beds were blocked against a 3.5 per cent target.

An average 128 were blocked at one time and the latest snapshot survey, on June 19, recorded that 104 were blocked.

Bed-blocking is a major concern for managers as delays can have a knock-on effect on other departments.

For example, people waiting in A&E can be delayed being taken to a bed as it is being taken by a bed-blocked patient.

Mr Brennan said daily staff conferences and a weekly “care summit” with social care and NHS staff was helping to tackle the issue.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which decides where most NHS cash is spent, has pledged to cut delays at any one time to under 100 by next October.

It said “timely, efficient communications amongst those involved in a patient’s care before and after discharge” is key between the NHS and Oxfordshire County Council, responsible for social services.

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