Two neighbouring boroughs have experienced some of the longest hospital discharge waiting times in the capital, according to a care company.

Patients in Waltham Forest and Redbridge were waiting more than two weeks to be discharged from hospital and moved into care facilities according to Care Sourcer, a company that matches patients with the care they need.

But council representatives have called the legitimacy of the figures from September 2018 into question.

Care Sourcer’s figures state both boroughs were in the bottom ten across London for September 2018 with patients waited up to 13.77 days in Redbridge and up to 15.94 days in Waltham Forest to be transferred out of hospital.

The company estimated that delayed transfer times cost the NHS up to £3.94million in September 2018 and stated that extended hospital stays can have a negative impact on a patient’s health.

It is a council’s responsibility to arrange onward care provision working closely with an area’s Clinical Commissioning Groups and hospital trusts following a patient’s stay in hospital.

But Cllr Naheed Asghar, Waltham Forest Council’s cabinet member for health, bluntly refused to accept Care Sourcer as a legitimate source of figures.

She said: “While we do not recognise this company’s data, we can reassure residents that the council and its partners at North East London NHS Foundation Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, and the North East London CCG are working closely together to ensure we deliver the essential services residents rely on.

“We are meeting an increasing demand for services in partnership, at a time when we are seeing unprecedented cuts to public sector budgets.

“We examine each case on an individual basis when assessing a patient’s needs, to ensure that they receive the most appropriate care in the most suitable place for them.”

Care Sourcer suggested that elderly patients can lose up to five per cent of their muscle strength after just one day in a hospital bed and prolonged time in hospital can lead to increased risk of infection.

Andrew McGinley, CEO of Care Sourcer, said: “This data shows that health and social care systems are already under extreme pressure, and winter could bring a crisis for the capital.

“Despite the availability of supply in London, systemic problems with the care system are putting pressure on the health service, costing the NHS millions and even affecting the health outcomes of people waiting for care and others in need of treatment.

“The NHS does fantastic work supporting thousands of people every day across the country. Its job has always been to look after patients, not to find people care, but delayed transfers of care are making that job much harder.”

Hospital trusts in the area stated they have been working hard to minimise delays.

A North East London NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “The trust works collaboratively with acute care and social care partners to minimise delays for patients in hospital requiring further care either in the community or other settings.

“Improvements to these care pathways have been made across our partnerships and we continue to strive to improve these care pathways.”

Shelagh Smith, chief operating officer at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We want all our patients to be able to return home as soon as possible once they are well enough and no longer need hospital care. In some cases, there are delays when the appropriate social care package, or care home place, is not immediately available.

“We work closely with our partners, including the local authority, to reduce the amount of time any patient has to wait to leave hospital.”

Cllr Mark Santos, Redbridge Council's cabinet member for health, said: “We strongly refute these figures, which do not come from a legitimate source.  Figures released by the government in the autumn ranks the borough first for working together with the NHS to better support residents leaving hospital and in the community.

"Despite what this company may be saying, local people can take great pride and reassurance in knowing we are providing one of the best integrated health and social care services in the country and I want to thank all staff in the council and health services who are helping make this possible.”