Dr Jim Gardner, Medical Director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has issued a plea for families of those with loved ones in hospital to work together with the Trust to ensure that they get to spend Christmas at home.
Teams from across the Trust are working hard to discharge as many medically able patients as possible before Christmas Day, but the initiative will only work with the cooperation of families and friends.
“There’s still a big pressure on hospital beds both here in Blackpool but across the whole system,” Dr Gardner said as he focused on some of the key reasons for getting patients home for Christmas.
“We’re really focusing on trying to get people home for Christmas, mobilizing all our efforts to get people home and working with our colleagues in social care and voluntary care to do that as best as possible.
“The problem about patients being in hospital who are really fit to leave is that the longer anybody stays in hospital the more chance there is to pick up some other illness and also to decondition, so it becomes an unhealthy place to be.”
With the entire healthcare system facing extraordinary pressures and also planning for anticipated Omicron admissions, Dr Gardner is keen to see as much capacity as possible made available.
He said: “Once we’ve reached that moment where the hospital has done all it can in terms of medical care it means that beds are restricted so it’s harder to get patients in through our emergency department which remains very busy.
“The essence of the Home For Christmas campaign is to ask friends and family and loved ones to do everything they can to make sure that patients can get home for Christmas and be in their own environment and spend quality time with their families.”