The report aims to identify what can be done to specifically reduce delayed transfers of care in these communities.
The report recognises the complexities involved in resolving delayed transfers of care and confirms that there has been a considerable reduction in the number of delays in the last two years. But while it says that fewer people are experiencing delays, those who are, are being delayed for longer, particularly those who have mental health issues.
The Minister said work is already underway to improve the situation but more needs to be done.
Mrs Hart said:
Delayed transfers of care mean that patients are receiving an inappropriate service and scarce resources are not being used effectively.
I want the NHS Trusts, LHBs and local authorities involved to read the report carefully and take on board its recommendations. It highlights numerous examples of good practice that I want replicated across Wales.
I am committed to working with local government and the NHS to prevent avoidable admissions to hospital or residential care and, when people do go into hospital, to move them quickly to the right place for their ongoing treatment or safe, timely discharge into the community.
Work is already under way to tackle delays, but I know we need to go further and faster.
I recently met with the chairs of Cardiff and Vale, Gwent and Ambulance Trusts to discuss delayed transfers of care. This report will feed into the action plan that is being prepared to reduce this problem.
The findings from the Wales Audit Office report will feed into the ongoing work that is being carried out by the All-Wales Independent Review into Delayed Transfer of Care that was commissioned by the National Assembly last year. This review will consider and test further across Wales, the themes set out in the WAO report and I look forward to seeing the recommendations. Both these reviews will inform our future plans to further reduce delayed transfers of care.
I will be closely monitoring performance on delayed transfers of care and will take any necessary action to improve the situation.
1 November 2007