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The £250m government intervention to free up hospital beds following a crisis summit at Downing Street has so far failed to make any impact.

In the week the emergency money was announced, an average of 14,035 patients, equating to around one in seven occupied beds – did not meet the clinical “criteria to reside” but were still waiting to leave hospital.

The total numbers have barely changed since then, with an average of 13,975 cases reported in the week to 5 February, also representing one in seven occupied beds.

In fact, the number of “delayed discharge” patients have risen in 17 of the 42 integrated care systems since the fund was announced, with eight seeing increases of more than 10 per cent. Cases in North West London, which did not respond to questions in time for publication, increased by more than 25 per cent.

Steve Barclay announced the fund, including £200m to buy step-down residential care beds to speed up discharges, on 9 January, following a “recovery forum” crisis summit at 10 Downing Street.

Doors keep revolving

Turnover at the top of a hospitals “group” continues to be rapid, with the joint chair of two trusts to step down, just weeks after the “group” named its third CEO in four months.

The University Hospitals of Northamptonshire Group has said Alan Burns will not extend his term of office, which ends on 31 March.

Last month the group named its third chief executive since the autumn.

The substantive CEO, former NHS England director Simon Weldon, went on an extended leave in October, citing health reasons. He had led the group since July 2020 and been CEO of Kettering from 2018. 

Group chief digital information officer Andy Callow was named as interim group CEO but he left in January to join Nottingham University Hospitals, and Deborah Needham – who had been Kettering hospital director – was appointed as interim group CEO.

Also on today

In our patient safety expert briefing, ImPatient, David Gilbert talks about the stress that fighting to get patients’ voices heard can inflict, and in our media round-up The Primer we look at the government’s isolated position as the NHS strikes drag on.