Healthwatch Report Raises Hospital Discharge Concerns

Specialist Lawyers Call For NHS And Government To Tackle Issue

21.07.2015

Legal experts representing victims of care and treatment failings have urged the NHS to react swiftly to improve hospital discharge processes, after a new report highlighted major concerns with the systems.

Healthwatch England stated it had heard “thousands of shocking stories” regarding patients being allowed to leave hospital without the necessary care and support, with “common basic failings” identified.

Among the issues outlined in the report are hospitals not asking if patients have anywhere to go after being discharged, information on medications being passed to other healthcare professionals and families not being informed about their loved ones’ departure.

Healthwatch warned that such issues can have significant consequences and often lead to patients being readmitted.

Following the release of the report, specialist lawyers in Irwin Mitchell’s Medical Negligence team have urged the NHS and Government to work quickly to ensure that standards improve and the safety of patients is a paramount concern.

Expert Opinion
“Patient safety should always be the priority for the NHS and this must be the case throughout every stage of care.

“For many patients, their care and treatment does not end when they leave hospitals and, with this in mind, it is vital that systems are in place to ensure they always receive the right help upon discharge.

“This report suggests very basic improvements could have a major impact on a great number of lives, ensuring that patients are able to not only move forward with their recovery but also avoid the potential risk of readmission.

“It is vital that the NHS, the Government and other care services work together to ensure that patients are guaranteed a high standard of support.”
Angela Kirtley, Partner