Hospitals are Getting Patient Discharges Wrong


Poor hospital discharge contributes to high levels of re-admissions. People are going back in to hospital needlessly because those tasked with taking care of them are failing to ensure that all steps are taken to ensure that they are safely discharged back in to the community.

Doctor discharging patient

Yearlong Enquiry Reveals Faults

A yearlong inquiry conducted by Healthwatch England has revealed that hospitals are failing to check whether or not patients had accommodation to go to after being discharged or to notify family and relatives. This information was gathered by Freedom of Information requests.

Planning patient discharges from hospital can reduce the length of time the patient has to stay initially, emergency readmissions and pressure on hospital beds. Pressure on hospital beds has been a reoccurring issue within the NHS over the past few years, leading to more medical negligence in cases where patients are left for hours in corridors because there were no beds available. Discharge planning is linked to the management of beds in hospitals and if one function is failing, then the other begins to suffer.

The Real Cost of Poor Discharges

In 2014, the NHS received millions of readmissions to hospital within 30 days of discharge leaving costs to skyrocket to around £2.4bn a year.

120 hospitals responded to the Freedom of Information request submitted by Healthwatch and of those that did:

  • Half failed to record the state of the patient's home environment and it's suitability
  • A third failed to record whether or not they had notified the patient's GP or carer about any new medication they required

Hospitals are not making sure patients are properly discharged, which in some cases has resulted in permanent injury, increased length of stay in hospitals and even death, leaving people to take the matter into their own hands and seek medical negligence compensation to right the wrongs that they've fallen victim to.

Medical negligence compensation claims are not all about the money, they can help you get the answers you need for incidents that should not have happened in the NHS.

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