Care Blog

Occupational therapist project aims to save 15k hospital bed days

A study carried out by the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) has been looking into the value OTs bring to patients and hospitals. The year-long study is due to be published this week in a report called, 'Reducing Pressure on Hospitals'.

Today, the BBC has given us a taster, revealing results from Wales which are the first to be published in the UK-wide report. The findings in Wales reveal that thousands of hospital bed days could be saved if occupational therapists were used more to help patients.

View the BBC's full analysis

Pilot service in a Cardiff hospital saves more than 15,000 bed days

The University Hospital of Wales' emergency department assessment unit is highlighted in the COT's report. It has been part of a pilot project carried out by the frail older persons' assessment and liaison (Fopal) team, launched in the hospital in 2012.

In the unit, occupational therapists have been working to return patients to their homes as quickly as possible and improve their level of independence. The service prioritises those who could be discharged the same day as an assessment. Today's report highlighted by the BBC reveals how more than 15,000 bed days have been saved in the unit, saving almost £1m in cash terms.

The impact of the OT pilot project in summary

  • The length of stay was in excess of 21 days before the launch of the service
  • Throughout the year, 854 patients were seen by the team
  • 33% of the 854 patients seen were discharged the same day, saving 5,501 bed days
  • 66% were discharged within three days, saving a further 10,134 bed days
  • Based on the average cost of non-elective hospital stays, it equates to a £961,552 saving

Source: BBC citing the 'Reducing Pressure on Hospitals' report

The COT's 'Reducing Pressure on Hospitals' report

The full report for the UK is going to be released by the College of Occupational Therapists tomorrow (9th Nov 2016). In times of great pressure on our care system and its services, the report will look to highlight OTs as a cost-saving, innovative way to reduce pressure on hospitals. Keep your eyes peeled...

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