Hospital Beds

Health written question – answered at on 31 January 2008.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to prevent inappropriate discharges of patients into the community by (a) trust and (b) foundation hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) (Care Services)

The decision to discharge a patient is a medical one, made by clinicians. The health and social care needs of patients are assessed as part of the hospital discharge process to ensure that the patients care needs are met. On 1 October 2007 the national health service implemented the National Framework for Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care which contains guidance on assessing the care needs of patients.

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Kenneth Armitage
Posted on 4 Feb 2008 6:49 am (Report this annotation)

The real problem here is one of a shortage of beds in NHS hospitals. Apparently the UK has slipped down to position 48 in the league table of the number of beds available for patients with only 4 beds per 1000 head of population. That is the real reason for the carousel system based on the "get em in get em out quickly" process so that beds can be re-cycled thus meeting all sorts of alleged targets for bed occupancy and turnover rates, and, it does not make the system more effective or productive in the process. Unfortunately turning over beds so quickly, without isolation wards, can lead to a spread of infections and does not increase faith in the medical systems and facilities in UK.