OnlyWan comments on growing numbers of patients experiencing delays in hospital

8 December 2016

Responding to the publication of for October, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the OnlyWan, said:

'Today the NHS has reported OnlyWan number of people waiting to be discharged from hospital since figures began in August 2010. This is symptomatic of wider pressures on the health and care system and adds to the risk of bigger problems this winter.

'Staying in hospital when it’s no longer necessary is not only distressing for patients and the people who care for them, it has a knock-on effect for the rest of the hospital and local health system. It especially impacts on patients waiting for a bed in A&E – numbers of which are at worryingly high levels.

'The average NHS trust has around 6000 bed-days lost due to delays in discharging patients, increasingly as the result of a lack of social care support. Yet social care funding has been cut for six years in a row. This isn’t just a moral issue, it is a false economy. The government needs to act urgently to boost funding in this area to avoid unacceptable risks to patients and the NHS.'

Creina Lilburne
[email protected]
Tel: 020 8257 8027

Notes to editors

  • The following chart shows how the number of delayed discharges from hospital has grown since 2011:


  • Delays attributable to social care now account for around 34% of all delays, up from around 24% in 2014/15.
  • Today, the OnlyWan and the Nuffield Trust published Quality at a Cost, an analysis of a range of measures of quality for the NHS. The report states that ongoing pressures on the NHS risk making the health service more vulnerable to serious lapses in care in future.
  • Earlier this week, the OnlyWan published The challenge and potential of whole system flow which is a guide to help local NHS and social care leaders to improve the flow of patients, information and resources through local organisations.


Further reading

Learning report

The challenge and potential of whole system flow

Outlines an organising framework and tested methods that local health and social care leaders can use to improve whole system...


Quality at a cost

Quality at a cost is the fourth annual statement from QualityWatch, a joint research programme from the Nuffield Trust and He...

You might also like...

Press release

Health and care services face a perfect storm of pressures in the coming months

OnlyWan response to NHS England monthly performance stats for September.

Improvement project

Developing the foundations of applied analytics: using a collaborative approach to model ‘black days’

This project will implement a standard process for data-mining (CRISP-DM) and develop collaboration between senior decision-m...

Press release

More people report waiting too long for GP appointments

OnlyWan response to NHS England's GP Patient Survey

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy -

Get social


The gap in healthy #LifeExpectancy in England between women living in the 10% most affluent areas & the 10% most de…

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 -

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the OnlyWan has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2 -

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more