In a joint announcement, NHS England and NHS Improvement said they will spearhead a campaign to cut long stays in hospitals. Shorter stays will benefit patients who would otherwise be stuck in hospital when they are well enough to leave. Many older people, particularly those who are frail and may have dementia, actually deteriorate while in hospital a stay of more than 10 days leads to 10 years muscle ageing for people most at risk.No one wants patients to stay in hospital longer than they have to, or for the health of patients to deteriorate in the very place that is supposed to be making them better,” said Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement. “But this is happening all too often and we have to work together to change it. Every day in hospital is a precious day away from normal life.”In addition to improving patient care by reducing unnecessary hospital days, the campaign aims to free up thousands of hospital beds and ease pressures next winter.The NHS, working with local authorities, seeks to reduce the number of long staying patients by around a quarter, freeing up more than 4,000 beds in time for the winter surge.NHS England’s Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, said: Over this past year hospitals and local councils have successfully worked together and have turned the corner on delays in patients being discharged. Now they need to go further in order to ensure patients are treated with dignity and looked after in the right setting for them.

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