Keeping out of hospital – a key to better health?

According to an interesting and somewhat perplexing statistic in a recent The Conversation article: Almost 2% of all hospital beds are occupied by “maintenance care” patients. Many of them may be waiting to have home care arranged or are waiting for a bed in residential aged care.”

The article continues: “The solution is not necessarily more hospital beds. A better answer might be to use existing beds better through better prevention, better discharge planning and improved efficiency.”

Hospitals are no place for those needing time to convalesce from illness – treatment not convalescence is their true calling, with over-stretched staff having little or no time to devote to patients effectively waiting to be discharged. Add to this the frightening risk of hospital-acquired infections, is it any wonder, the vast majority of people, young and old, prefer to be discharged quickly and, with just a little in-home support, be allowed to convalesce and remain safe and well in their own home. Surely a win-win for all.

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