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Health and social care partners in Eastern Cheshire have launched a new campaign which aims to keep hospital beds free for patients with the greatest need this winter.

Recent winters have proved challenging for health and social care services across the country, with high numbers of elderly patients with complex conditions requiring hospital treatment. This puts pressure on hospital beds and can lead to patients waiting longer than they should in Accident and Emergency.

East Cheshire NHS Trust has combated this issue by providing additional temporary beds, but what many people don’t know is that the public can help too. The Trust has created a short video to explain how you can help, with the aid of a fictitious patient called Flo!


The five top tips are:

  • Don’t assume you / your relative will be admitted even if your GP refers you for urgent hospital assessment. Sometimes GPs refer people directly to hospital for assessment and they will often be taken in an emergency ambulance. However they may well be discharged after appropriate investigation, so it’s vital they have relatives/carers ready to help get them back home in a timely manner.


  • Please prioritise collecting your relatives or friends as soon as they are ready to be discharged. Any delay in a patient being collected by a relative or carer once ready for discharge, even for just a few hours, can impact on the availability of beds for other people. Patients are usually ready for collection by 11am on their day of discharge.


  • Ensure you/your relative has the right footwear, clothes and essential belongings if they are admitted. This can help prevent falls and keep patients as active and mobile as safely possible, which may in turn shorten the length of their overall admission.


  • Please consider that ongoing care/assessment after leaving hospital may not be as close to home as you would like. If you turn down ongoing care because it is not as close to home as you would like, it could mean that no bed is available for a poorly patient in A&E who really needs it. And while you are waiting for an alternative to become available, you may also be missing out on important therapy to aid your rehabilitation.


  • Please make sure all practical arrangements are in place for your discharge. Please make us aware of any help you might need with issues like transport and help at home well in advance of your discharge so this does not delay your discharge.