Hospital applies for a court order to remove patient after blocking bed for two years

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The James Paget University Hospital in Norfolk has applied for a court order to remove a patient who had occupied a bed for more than two years. The man refused to leave the hospital despite being “fit for discharge” and having been offered appropriate accommodation.

The hospital applied to the court for a possession order to claim back the bed occupied by the man. The order was granted on 1 December and the man was evicted on 10 January. The Department of Heath says the average daily cost of a hospital bed is about £400, meaning the man’s stay at James Paget would have cost roughly £292,000 for the two years in which he stayed.

Anna Hills, the hospital’s Director of Governance, said: –

“The gentleman repeatedly refused all offers of appropriate accommodation organised by our local authority and social care partners, despite being fit for discharge.

“As a last resort, the trust had to apply to the court to allow us to remove the gentleman from the hospital.

“The decision to go to court was not taken lightly but our priority has to be considering the needs of all our patients.”

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