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All patients should be checked for neglect

9th May 2012

Simon Burns has said every patient who goes into hospital should have the condition of their health recorded on admission.

Old Hands

He has agreed to a trial involving a small number of NHS trusts where any health issues are noted as a Present on Admission (POA) flag. 

Data has suggested that many thousands of patients go into hospital each year with a number of health issues that started before they were admitted. Figures showed that up to one third of patients had bed sores before they arrived at a hospital.

Campaigners sent a letter to health ministers in January to call for a system to check the health of patients upon their admission to hospital.

They said that this kind of system, provided it was implemented quickly, could be an "early warning of poor quality care" in care homes.

Roger Taylor, of Dr Foster Intelligence, said the fact that there were no checks on patient condition upon hospital admission meant that "nobody takes responsibility for these problems".

Mr Burns has written to Mr Taylor and said he believed that POA could be "an acceptable interim solution".

He added that 10-12 health trusts could carry out pilot trials in the autumn and if it was successful it could become "mandatory".

Mr Burns added: "We strongly support any developments that will help patients receive a better quality of care and treatment in hospital. We are working with hospitals to try and establish how we could test the Present on Admission flag." 

 

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