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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Healthwatch Wiltshire want to hear first hand how patients are discharged from hospital

The morning headline "NHS watchdog reveals discharge crisis" might not automatically get a second glance.  Delayed transfers of care (DTOCS in NHS parlance or 'bed blockers' to the tabloid press) have made many hundreds of headlines over the years.

DTOCs are blamed for, among other things, the pile-up in A&E departments - the long queues and the missed targets for waiting times.  And they cost healthcare commissioners a lot of money in extra bed-day charges.

This crisis is quite different.  It is about people - mainly vulnerable patients who are often the more elderly and the frailer patients - who are being discharged not too slowly but too hastily without proper planning and, ultimately, unsafely.  

It is revealed in evidence compiled by the NHS ombudsman (officially 'The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman') and you can tell from the website headline that the ombdusman, Dame Julie Mellor, is in no mood to pull her punches:  "Vulnerable patients and their families suffering harrowing ordeals due to poor hospital discharge."

The NHS ombudsman's report details terrible, shaming cases of patients being taken home and left alone - even though they cannot care for themselves - cannot even make it to the loo without help.

One of the current NHS mantras is that patients are better off at home than in hospital.  Well and good if they can be looked after there - or look after themselves there.

Eye-watering sums of money, cadres of staff and many policy plans and schemes have sought to make sure patients can be treated at home and kept at home - and if they have had to 'end up in hospital' to make sure they are discharged as quickly and safely as possible.   

Many of these schemes work extremely well.  But from this report by the NHS ombudsman it is evident they do not all work - let alone work well.

Healthwatch Wiltshire - which is the local NHS 'watchdog' - wants to hear the experiences of patients and their unpaid carers (who may or may not be their relatives) when they are transferred from hospital to a community hospital recovery ward, to a care home or back to their own home.

Sometimes this is simply a transfer from being in the care of the NHS to being in the care of social services.  But as integration proceeds - slowly - this can be a bit of fuzzy distinction.

Healthwatch Wiltshire want to talk to people who have been discharged from hospital in the last 12 months and to the friends or relatives who care for them or just look out for them.

There is an online questionnaire.  Or they offer one-to-one conversations on the phone or in a person's own home - these can be arranged by phoning 01225 434218 or by email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


 

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  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-
  • IMG 8472
  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters
  • IMG 9097