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Clearer and better planned discharge from hospital is required to cut down readmission

28 Sep 2014

Clearer and better planned discharge from hospital is required to cut down re-admission, according to RCS survey

The Royal College of Surgeons today released the results of a survey looking into the coordination of care including discharge processes and re-admission for surgical patients in England and Wales. The survey was completed by surgeons and patients. Overall, the results showed that discharge from hospital is an area of particular concern with only one quarter of those surveyed agreeing that there is a thorough coordinated discharge process in place to enable effective transfer of care from the hospital environment.

Follow-up and access to care outside of the hospital setting was also raised as a concern in the survey as less than half (41%) of surgeons believe that it is clear to patients who they should contact if they experience problems following discharge from hospital. In addition, only 18% of surgeons and stakeholders are confident that surgical teams are aware of a patient’s additional health or care needs before the first surgical consultation. Evidence shows uncoordinated care is distressing for patients; can lead to higher re-admission rates; and places additional pressure on emergency departments.

Following the survey, The Royal College of Surgeons has made a number of recommendations for where the integration of care for patients can be improved including calling for greater discharge planning to take place from the outset, more information to be available to patients and carers, and greater communication between professionals and services.

Miss Clare Marx, President, Royal College of Surgeons said:

“We strongly support a model of care that encourages and enables closer team work between surgeons, patients, their carers and community care providers as this can improve health outcomes, overall patient experience and bring down re-admission rates. Readmission to hospital is occasionally necessary but can be reduced with coordinated effort.

“It is crucial that surgeons work with their patients to determine a plan for recovery from the outset, providing them with all of the information they and their carers require and clear instructions on how to seek medical attention, if required after discharge. At present readmission is placing additional pressures on emergency departments."


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