BED blocking at Macclesfield Hospital has fallen by more than half over the past year.

Figures revealed at a Cheshire East Council scrutiny committee meeting last Thursday showed a sharp drop in the number of delayed transfers of care – when a patient is stuck waiting to be discharged from hospital.

After 889 bed days were lost at Macclesfield District General Hospital in April 2017, that number stood at just 437 in March 2018.

Neil Evans, commissioning director at NHS Eastern Cheshire clinical commissioning group, told the committee those figures were the result of ‘an awful lot of work’.

“We were highlighted as an outlier in terms of the percentage of people who had delays getting home and we have seen massive progress,” he said.

“We continue seeing that as we go on. Yesterday we were at five delays out of the hospital, whereas we were consistently at 30.

“We recognise there is still ongoing work. This isn’t something that you just do a bit of work and then forget about – it is a daily challenge to continue to overcome individual circumstances which may delay people coming out.”

Bed blocking can be caused by a number of issues – such as a delay in finding further care for a patient who needs either home visits or to stay in a care home.

Cllr Arthur Moran, leader of CEC’s independent group, said: “I am very pleased there has been some real progress because there was a big worry when we were trying to find out where the blockage was.

“It looks like we’ve found out where it was and we have acted on it.”

National figures revealed in February showed Cheshire East was the top borough out of 151 in England for avoiding bed blocking.