PERFORMANCE: Bed blocking patients in Sefton who turn down transitional placements will be given 48 hours to make their own arrangements.

A February performance report to NHS Sefton primary care trust said the PCT’s last recorded rate of delayed transfers of care was at 7.28 per 100,000 adults in the population, against a target of just three.

The main cause of these delays was patients or their family members declining discharge to a placement outside of their acute bed, leading to “an extended period of occupancy within Hospital”.

It added: “From February 2011, a process will be introduced whereby the patient will continue to be offered a transitional placement and if a safe placement is declined will be provided with 48 hours notice in writing to seek alternative provision under their own arrangements.”

It continued: “The end stage of this process may ultimately involve a Trust making an application to the Courts for the patient to vacate. As part of the work involved in this process we have sought clarification and verification from Hill Dickinson on the position both at common law and from a human rights perspective.”