Barnsley has come top out of 131 health trusts in the country for ensuring patients don’t stay in hospital longer than they need to.

According to the latest NHS England figures, Barnsley has one of the lowest ‘delayed transfer of care’ (DTOC) results in the country (the national target is 3.5%). This means it makes sure patients move as quickly and efficiently as possible from hospital to wherever they need to go, such as rehabilitation or social care. Medically, such patients do not need to stay in hospital any longer.

The service is run by an alliance of seven partners: RightCare Barnsley, Barnsley Hospital Discharge Case Management Team, Barnsley Hospital Social Work Team, SWYT Intermediate Care and Community Nursing Services, Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, BMBC Reablement, and Barnsley Healthcare Federation.

Health chiefs put their success down to close partnership working between these organisations to unblock bottlenecks delaying transfer of care.

Jacqueline Howarth is Service Manager for RightCare Barnsley and Barnsley Hospital’s Acorn Rehabilitation Unit.

Jacqueline said:

“It is a real team effort in Barnsley and we have all put a lot of hard work and effort into this. We are proactive and cooperate with each other while focusing on the patient and what they need. If there is a blockage in the system we unblock it together. We look for solutions to minimise delayed transfer of care and make sure people are in the right place at the right time.”

Every morning the partners involved have a conference call to see where any blockages are in the system. Jacqueline added: “We identify what difficulties we might be having that day and unpick them together. It’s very easy to work in a silo and say: ‘we have got this problem because of this other team’ but we don’t do that. We couldn’t get these results by working independently.”

The alliance has just won an ‘Extra Brilliant’ award – part of Barnsley Hospital’s staff recognition scheme.