Advising with empathy and experience

Inappropriate hospital discharges.


The high numbers of patients being re-admitted to hospital is almost certainly down to how staff are discharging them, a report based on a year-long inquiry says.

The report, following an investigation by Healthwatch England, says many hospitals failed to notify relatives or even check if patients had any accommodation before discharging them.

The watchdog studied data from Freedom of Information requests, patient surveys and more than 3,000 patient reports to its local teams.

Healthwatch England chair, Anna Bradley, described some of the information provided as “shocking “

She said: “There is a huge human and financial cost of getting hospital discharge wrong.”

One Healthwatch England report said an 81-year-old stroke survivor had been sent home in a taxi while his wife was told he was being transferred to a rehabilitation centre.

Another case involved a young man with severe mental health problems who had been discharged with no consultation with his psychiatrist and no treatment.

The National Audit Office reported that in 2014 the NHS saw a million readmissions within 30 days of discharge, costing an estimated £2.4bn.

A spokesman for NHS England said that hospitals should be making sure that patients are appropriately discharged.

They added: “We need to ensure that appropriate care is put in place before a patient leaves hospital which needs strong joint working across the health service.”