Norfolk & Norwich Hospital defend overnight discharge figures

  • Posted

Posted 17/04/2012

A recent data study has shown that the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital has discharged more than 4,700 patients during the night in 2011. This figures constitutes 5.6% of all discharges at the hospital compared with 1.9% discharged overnight at the James Paget Hospital.The Director of Nursing at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital has said that the figures do have be put into context in that it covers all patient discharges in the widest sense which would include those discharging themselves against medical advice, those who are present at short stay assessment units and also any deaths which occur during those times. However concerns remain that discharging patients through the night could impact on the vulnerable and elderly.Sharon Allison, Medical Injury Lawyer at Ashtons Legal says: ” Whilst I appreciate that these figures represent discharges in the widest sense, there are incidences which demonstrate why discharging patients through the night is inappropriate and unsafe. Earlier this year, this particular hospital offered their apologies to a patient suffering with Parkinson’s Disease who was discharged at 01.00hrs with no assistance to get home. Apparently he had asked for help with a taxi, however when he didn’t get it, he tried to hitchhike for two hours before waiting for more than five hours for a bus. Clearly this is an unacceptable situation and it is encouraging that the Trust have acknowledged this through their apology.””I can only imagine that being discharged from hospital through the night is highly disorientating for anyone. It is important that patient safety is not compromised in order to meet bed requirements and waiting times.”


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