23 May 2019

Health and Social Care organisations in Shropshire, including SaTH, have again exceeded their Delayed Transfer of Care (DTOC) target in ensuring that residents don’t stay in hospital longer than they need to.

Current figures for 2018/19 show the number of delayed discharges of care (DTOC) across SaTH and Shropshire Council Adult Social Care services have reduced from 21.2 per day to 10.4 per day – a 60% drop since 2017/18.

The Delayed Transfer of Care figures, produced by NHS England, show that during the current year the monthly number of delayed bed days has reduced.  Both the council’s adult social care service and NHS partners in Shropshire have seen a sustained long-term improvement in the reduction of delays.

Adult social care services, as well as acute settings such as hospitals, across England, are expected to maintain or reduce the number of patients who are delayed in such circumstances. The Government has set each organisation a target to reduce the delays of transfers of care. A Delayed Transfer of Care from acute or non-acute care occurs when a patient is ready to depart and is still occupying a hospital bed.

Total annual delayed days NHS ASC Joint Total Days
2016/17 6,275 5,333 2,896 14,504
2017/18 5,154 1,531 1,070 7,755
2018/19 3,381 118 293 3,792


Nigel Lee, Chief Operating Officer at SaTH, said: “Together with the community teams, CCGs and local authorities, the Trust has halved the numbers of patients that are medically fit and awaiting transfer compared to last year. We now routinely transfer most patients within 48 hours of being fit, which is the national standard.

“We are very pleased to see yet another improvement this year which is testament to the hard work of staff across SaTH and the local system, and good news for our patients. No one wants to be in hospital longer than they need to be and we will continue to work together with our partners to look at ways of improving further.”

Councillor Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibilities for adult social care, said: “I am absolutely delighted the Council, Shropshire CCG and SaTH have again exceeded the government’s target.

“We know that no one wishes to be in hospital longer than is necessary. Over the past year our adult social care teams have worked extremely hard with our health colleagues to ensure people are discharged as soon as they are well.

“I am very proud that their work has been nationally recognised, having been awarded Social Work Team of the Year, as well as being Highly Commended at the Local Government Chronicle Awards and recognised.”

Shropshire’s Integrated Community Services (ICS) team, jointly run by Shropshire Council Adult Social Care services and Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust provide short-term support for patients who are ready to leave hospital. The team also work closely with partner organisations to identify people who need support to avoid an admission to hospital in the first place.

Steve Gregory, Director of Nursing at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said: “It is important that patients are cared for in the most appropriate setting for their needs.  We work with others within the Shropshire care system to make sure any delay is kept to a minimum.”

Tanya Miles, Assistant Director Adult Social care at Shropshire Council added: “Our integrated teams work extremely hard to support people to be discharged from hospital as soon as they are well, and help people avoid hospital admissions. This year their efforts have paid off in that we exceeded the targets that had been set nationally in reducing delayed transfers of care.

“We continue work with our health and social care partners to further explore possible solutions to help reduce the number of patients remaining in hospital and returning home, which we know they prefer to be.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to all those involved who I know have worked extremely hard to ensure that people return home from hospital as soon as possible. This is a great result from the team.”

Dr Julie Davies, Director of Performance and Delivery at Shropshire CCG, said: “This is the result of relentless hard work by all the organisations across the health economy to successfully deliver new and improved ways of working in partnership to help support patients to be discharged from hospital as soon as possible. The team have every right to be very proud of their achievements.”

Shropshire Council, Shropshire CCG and SaTH have introduced a number of initiatives which have contributed to the reduction in DTOC figures. New programmes and initiatives to help patients return home sooner, or support those to avoid hospital admission, include:

The Frailty Intervention Team at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

A frailty service at the front door of Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was launched to reduce admission and reduce lengths of stay for patients aged 75+. Working together with Shropshire CCG, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and Shropshire Council, the new team combines health and social care professionals. It is a fast track service to get frailer patients over 75 quickly assessed, treated and discharged safely back to their own homes.


SaTH2Home was launched to provide rapid, same-day domiciliary care for patients awaiting care packages to start or who require support to settle back to their home. This enables discharge to be facilitated on the day a decision is reached that an individual no longer requires acute care.