MORE than half of the 4,400 elderly and frail people who were admitted to hospital in a year could have been treated elsewhere, it has been revealed.

A total of 4,410 elderly and frail patients were involved in an emergency admission at one of the county’s main hospitals in 2015/16 – the latest figures on record.

But Shropshire Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, was told that 2,800 of these patients could have been treated elsewhere if services had been available.

The cost of the 4,410 admissions was almost £11 million, the committee was told.

The patients spent 41,795 days in emergency beds.

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group said it is looking at ways it can treat patients at home on a more regular basis.

This will include setting up oxygen at homes and having staff come out to carry out work in patients’ homes.

Lisa Wicks, deputy director of performance and delivery at Shropshire CCG, said: “We are putting plans in place to manage this better through a range of services starting with general practice and also the community team that is operated by the local authority.

“We are always working at getting people out of hospital and we are hoping to do this more and more where appropriate.”

Councillor Heather Kidd, member for Chibury and Worthen, said admissions for youngsters was also an issue.

She also said she was worried about how a care at home service would be implemented in a rural area of the county.

She said: “I think under-twos are also kept in quite a lot and know that from my personal experience so it would be good to see care closer to home looked at with that age group too.

“It is also something that will affect very rural residents; people who live in my ward are in very rural locations that can be hard to get to.

“It will be interesting to see where care closer to home will work in rural locations. I am also concerned that these will be 8am to 6pm. What would happen with out of hours?”

Ms Wicks added: “We have locality task and finish groups and rurality is something that is at the top of our agenda.

“We will go out and look at our model and see how it will be delivered in this rural county.

“We will look at the model used in Staffordshire and how they have dealt with rural areas.”