Study of hospital discharge times

By Richard Wright

Published on Sunday, February 17, 2013 - 08:13


A HEALTH scrutiny panel is to monitor patient discharges late at night from St Mary’s Hospital.

The Isle of Wight Council’s health and community wellbeing panel studied a report by the health watchdog Isle of Wight LINk, which flagged up concern over discharge of vulnerable, often elderly, patients without proper arrangements being made for them.

The meeting was told most discharges late at night and in the early hours took place after treatment in A&E.

There had been three from wards but the trust said it only took place if it was decided to be in the patient’s best interest.

There had been a case of one patient being taken from a ward at 8pm and waiting in a day room before returning home at 1.40am, the meeting heard.

The LINk report was welcomed by Isle of Wight NHS Trust chief executive, Karen Baker, who said it was "completely unacceptable" patients were taken from wards and had to wait for hours, to be discharged in the early hours.

She added discharge of patients who had been treated in A&E was best for both patient wellbeing and hospital bed-space, provided it was properly managed.

She said the trust was working with residential homes to ensure they were given proper notice patients were returning from hospital and patients had the correct clothing to preserve their dignity.

Panel member Cllr Roger Mazillius said: "There are obvious grounds for concern but, thankfully, the numbers are small."

The panel will study the health trust’s response to the LINk report.



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