YORK remains among the worst places in the country for hospital bed blocking, figures have revealed.

The latest statistics from NHS England show there were 1,023 days where beds were blocked in York in February, where patients were ready to leave hospital or care but could not because there was nowhere for them to go. The highest number of delays was caused by people waiting for a nursing home placement, with 285 days of delays, 243 days with people waiting for care at home to be organised and 175 days down to patient or family choice.

As reported in The Press, recent figures showed that York was one of the worst nationally for bed blocking. National figures showed the city ranks 147th out of 151 across the whole of England for these delays in the transfer of care, performing well below the national average.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of health and wellbeing at City of York Council, said there was a shortage of nursing and residential care in the city, partly because a high cost of property and a shortage of available care staff meant the city was less attractive to care home operators. In turn, patients and their families often did not want them to be cared for outside York.

He said: “There are too many people going into residential homes and nursing care and we need to look at how to tailor service to help people stay at home.”

In North Yorkshire, 1,000 days were lost to bed blocking - 201 with patients waiting for further hospital treatment, 161 due to patient or family care and 101 while people waited for care in their own home.

A spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the council, said: “Clearly we would like to see fewer patients delayed in hospital beds, whatever the reason, and together we are working hard with our commissioners and partners, including community services, to improve the way all parts of the system operate and to work towards ensuring that only those patients who need acute care are in hospital.

We need to make sure that patients who are fit to leave hospital choose to be discharged, and are then able to recover in the right place with the right support. The closer integration of health and social care and joint funding through the Better Care Fund will make it easier for us to tackle this shared problem.”