A third of frail people leaving hospital in England find post-discharge care lacking | Society


Hospital discharge issues in England, highlighted in the largest annual patient survey, reinforce the need for greater integration between healthcare and social services, the industry regulator said.The Quality of Care Commission’s Hospital Patient Survey found that a majority of patients were positive about their hospital care, but that a significant minority experienced problems on discharge.

A third of fragile respondents said that the care and support they expected when they left the hospital was not available when they needed it. Three in 10 frail people said they had no discussions with staff about the need for additional health and social services they might need after discharge.

Four out of 10 patients interviewed left the hospital with no written or written information about what they should or should not do after their discharge, and the same proportion said that their discharge had been delayed.

The relationship between health care and social services was closely examined during the coronavirus pandemic due to the discharge of 25,000 inpatients to nursing homes between March 17 and April 15 before the tests became an routine. Critics said the decisions protected hospitals at the expense of nursing homes, which had a heavy toll on Covid-19.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said, “The recent Covid-19 crisis has brought out the interdependence of health care and social services in a very striking fashion. Although this survey was carried out before the pandemic spread to the UK, the results provide further evidence of the need for greater collaboration and show that where services are not integrated, it can have an impact. detrimental to the way people receive care. ”

Just under 77,000 people aged 16 and over who stayed in hospital for at least one night in July of last year responded to the survey. Eight in ten said they had always been treated with dignity and respect while in hospital, and the same proportion said they still trusted the doctors who treated them. Nine in 10 said they always had enough privacy when they were examined. In addition, the responses to questions about cleanliness, food choice and hydration were overwhelmingly positive.

Baker said results reflect “significant efforts of healthcare professionals who work tirelessly to provide care in hospitals across the country”, but expressed disappointment at the problems faced by patients leaving hospital .

Of the patients who reported that their discharge from hospital was delayed, nine out of 10 reported waiting more than an hour and one in four reported being delayed more than four hours.

Among those who received take-home medications, more than four in 10 said they were not told about the possible side effects.

“This year’s results indicate that people are facing longer leave times and reveal lingering concerns about the quality of the information provided when they are ready to go home,” said Baker. “It is particularly worrying that for those who claim to be frail, the difficulties accessing support after leaving the hospital were even greater.”


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