A ‘delayed transfer of care’ occurs when a patient is ready to leave a hospital or similar care provider but is still occupying a bed. Delays can occur when patients are being discharged home or to a supported care facility, such as a residential or nursing home, or are awaiting transfer to a community hospital or hospice.
Delayed transfers – also referred to as ‘DTOCs’ or sometimes, often in the media, described as ‘bed-blocking’ – can cause considerable distress and unnecessarily long stays in hospital for patients. They also affect waiting times for NHS care, as delayed transfers reduce the number of beds available for other patients.
The NHS Monthly Situation Report collects data on the total delayed days during the month for all patients delayed throughout the month. Prior to April 2017, it also collected data on the number of patients delayed on the last Thursday of the month.
Data is shown here by the Local Authority that is responsible for each patient delayed and is split by the agency responsible for delay (NHS, Social Services or both).
This dataset is adapted from the published NHS statistics, which includes more detailed data, including all other local authorities in England.