Hospital patients sent home too early1st February 2010
The Conservative Party have released data they obtained which showed that over half a million patients were readmitted to hospital in 2007/08 soon after being discharged.
The figures show a considerable increase from the number of emergency readmissions in 1998/99, when 359,719 were readmitted within 28 days of being discharged.
The number of elderly patients in the readmission category also increased, with 159,134 aged 75 or older readmitted in 2007-8, in comparison to 94,283 in 1998/99.
The party suggested that the data showed patients were being sent home from hospital before they had recovered properly.
The Tories health spokesman Andrew Lansley said: "It's staggering that there has been such a huge increase in the number of patients having to be readmitted to hospital as emergencies almost as soon as they've been allowed home."
"It's also a deeply worrying sign that the quality of care in hospitals is being undermined.
He added that hospitals should not be given incentives to make patients return home too quickly and the taxpayer had to pay for the charges when they were admitted for the second time.
A Department of Health spokesman said that people were only told to go home when their doctor decided they were safely able to do so.
He added that the number of patients who needed to be readmitted was low, with only around 5% readmitted with a week of their original release date.
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Title: Hospital patients sent home too early
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 13939
Date Added: 1st Feb 2010