EVERY day 45 patients who could be discharged from Colchester Hospital are being delayed, figures show.

A report published by the Care Quality Commission looked into the delays at the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester Hospital.

Delayed transfer of care is referred to colloquially as “bed blocking”.

With elderly patients often stuck waiting to be discharged, there is concern over the impact delays can have on their health.

NHS England figures show last August, patients at the trust spent a total of 1,392 days waiting to be discharged or transferred to a different care facility.

The trust cares for about 10,000 a day. A total of 45 patients per day could be discharged but are not.

A delayed transfer of care occurs when a patient remains in a bed after being officially declared safe for transfer.

Kate Terroni, chief inspector of adult social care for the CQC, said: “We found positive outcomes for older people when leaders in health and care

organisations worked well together.

“But we also found too much poor practice where a lack of co-ordination and co-operation between services had led to fragmented care and badly affected people’s experiences.

“When people can’t access the services they need, the risk is they are pushed into inappropriate care settings and stay there for too long rather than accessing the care they need within their community.”

Rebecca Driver, director of communications and engagement at the hospital trust, said their philosophy is “time matters”.

She said: “We are determined to reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety for all of our patients.

“A large part of our work is actually helping people stay out of hospital by receiving care closer to home.

“Many of the people we care for may have complex needs and for this reason we have recently introduced complex care discharge teams.

“These teams are made up of specialist nurses and therapists who work with partners to find the best option to allow people to leave hospital as soon as they are well enough to do so.”