A patient has waited 1,338 days for hospital discharge

A patient with “complex” health needs has been waiting more 1,338 days to leave hospital after being declared fit for discharge.

The patient, who has not been named, and is said to suffer from a “serious mental health condition” plus a learning disability as well as physical health problems, has been in a hospital bed for 1,338 days, and is still waiting for discharge.

He is expected to be discharged “within the next six months”.

A letter, sent to Conservative Assembly member Darren Millar and shown to the Press Association, was in response to the Clwyd West representative’s call for details on the longest number of bed days lost by individual patients experiencing delayed transfers of care.

In it, Mr Gething lists the longest delays experienced by individual patients at each of Wales’s seven health boards, as of January 2017, and reveals that along with the Hywel Dda University Health Board patient who has been waiting for three-and-a-half years,  and two other patients waiting for more than a year-and-a-half each.

He said: “While bed blocking is extremely costly for the NHS in Wales, the real cost is the quality of life of patients for whom it affects.”

Joe Teape, director of operations for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are unable to discuss individual patient cases, however we continue to work hard to reduce delayed transfers of care and have good relationships with our local authority and third-sector partners in providing care in the community as and when appropriate.”