Annual Report for the Critically Ill, 2016

The latest Annual Report for the Critically Ill (published 26th August, Welsh Government) provides indicators of the progress being made in the provision of critical care across Wales, but also some of the challenges we face.

Survival to ICU discharge (83%) , readmission rates (<1%) and transfer for non-clinical reasons (83 pa) have improved compared with earlier reports.

However, Wales has among the very lowest number of critical care beds per capita in Europe (5.9 per 100,000) and use of those beds is compromised by an inability within Health Boards to move recovered patients on to the general ward in a timely way: 66% patients were discharged more than 4 hours after decision to discharge and nearly 150,000 critical care bed hours lost through delayed transfer of care (equivalent to nearly 17 critical care beds).

The report also highlights concerns over workforce deficiencies and the challenge of meeting a rising demand for critical care services.

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