Data has revealed the extent of the problem of bed blocking in east Berkshire hospitals.

Figures compiled by the BBC Shared Data Unit showed the rates of patients identified ready to be discharged who were still in a hospital bed in health trusts across the county.

The data showed that Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – which manages several health facilities in east Berkshire – ranked as the sixth worst trust in south east England for bed blocking.

It found that 63.3 per cent of patients ready for discharge were still occupying a bed at midnight on an average night between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

This placed the trust 5.5 percentage points above the average for trusts across England. Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust was found to have far lower rates at 46.3 per cent.

At the Frimley Trust, the worst day recorded saw 97.6 per cent of patients classed as “no longer meeting the criteria” for hospital stay still occupying beds at midnight.

The BBC’s broader investigation found that more than 13,000 people each day are in a position where they are unable to leave hospital despite being deemed fit to go.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Behind these statistics are real people, the vast majority of them older, who had to endure the misery of being stuck in a hospital bed for far longer than was good for them, potentially undermining their chances of making a good recovery.

“This is so sad for them and their families and a waste of NHS resources, so looking ahead to this winter it is vital that the health and care system works better in discharging older people from hospital once they are medically well enough to leave.”

The Frimley Trust ranked sixth in the south east region for proportion of such undischarged patients, where Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust topping the regional list at 81 per cent on an average day.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust was contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “It is vital people receive the right care in the right place, and we are working to ensure patients are discharged safely from hospital, as soon as they are medically fit to do so.

“A record £1.6 billion investment is supporting this, on top of the £700 million to ease hospital pressures over last winter and the £42.6 million fund to support innovation in adult social care.

“To further bolster the workforce, we are continuing our Made With Care recruitment campaign – designed to reach millions of people – and the average pay for care workers has also increased. Staff retention is equally as important, which is why we are also investing almost £2 billion over two years to help councils support the workforce.”