Unsafe Discharges From Hospitals Breach NICE Guidelines (BBC News / PHSO)


The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has reported on complaints received about hundreds of vulnerable and elderly patients, sometimes including those with dementia and / or frailty, who have been discharged inappropriately from hospital.

It seems likely that pressures within NHS hospitals to discharge patients swiftly, coupled with a social care system under-resourced to provide adequate care in the community post-discharge, may sometimes result in unacceptable compromises to patient safety and dignity. The PHSO alleges that poor planning, co-ordination and / or communication, whether between hospital staff and / or between health and social care services, sometimes fails to support the interests of those vulnerable patients least able to care, or speak-up, for themselves.

The underlying causes / issues involve:

  1. Patients sometimes discharged before they are ready clinically to leave hospital.
  2. Patients sometimes not assessed or consulted properly before discharge.
  3. Relatives and carers sometimes not informed when their loved one has been / is about to be discharged.
  4. Patients sometimes discharged with no home-care plan in place, or on the other hand being kept in hospital unduly due to poor co-ordination across health and care services.

Full Text Link


Roberts, M. (2016). Ombudsman: Patients sent home afraid and with little support. London: BBC Health News, May 11th 2016.

See also:

Full Text Link


A report of investigations into unsafe discharge from hospital. London [Online]: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, May 2016.

This relates to:

Full Text Link


A report of investigations into unsafe discharge from hospital. London: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, May 10th 2016.

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, BBC News, Commissioning, Community Care, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, Management of Condition, National, NHS, Patient Care Pathway, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Standards, UK, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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