Overnight discharges from NHS hospitals
Katherine Murphy Chief Executive at the Patients Association comments,
“Discharging patients often elderly and vulnerable late at night is totally inconsiderate and unacceptable and displays no compassion or thought for the individual patient.
Hospitals may think it is convenient for them to ask people to leave in the middle of the night but is it convenient and safe for a patient who may well have been in hospital for a considerable amount of time, to go home without any warning to an empty cold house – how patient centred is this? This is totally unacceptable practice in what is supposed to be a caring environment. We regularly receive calls to our Helpline from patients and relatives shocked at this callous, cruel and thoughtless behaviour.
NHS Managers need to recognise that discharging vulnerable patients at night is a poor reflection on their management skills and those Trusts that are guilty of doing this must be penalised.
The Patients Association today calls for intervention from the Department of Health, the Care Quality Commission and the Secretary of State for Health. No patient, unless they are in agreement and it is clinically safe to do so should be discharged after 6pm it is inappropriate”.