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Friday 28th October 2016

Hospitals penalised for readmissions

9th June 2010

The health secretary Andrew Lansley has announced plans to penalise hospitals if patients have to be readmitted within 30 days of being discharged.

Pound Sign

He said in a speech that hospitals would receive money if they treated a patient, but would not receive any more payment if a patient had to be seen again with a "related" illness.

During 1998/99 and 2007/08, the amount of emergency readmissions in England increased from 359,719 to 546,354.

However, there was also a considerable increase in the amount of procedures carried out during those time frames. The percentage of readmissions in the total number of patients discharged increased from 8% in 1998/99 to 10.5% in 2007/08.

Mr Lansley said that patients should be given more say in how they were treated and hospitals should be responsible for patients' wellbeing for a month after they were released.

Mr Lansley said he would "empower patients as well as health professionals" and "disempower the hierarchy and the bureaucracy".

He said that over the last decade the number of patients who needed to be readmitted to hospital as an emergency had gone up 50%.

Mr Lansley stated that this was due to hospital incentives and targets to get patients back home more quickly and shorten the amount of time they spent in hospital.

"So in addition to getting rid of these targets - we're going to ensure that hospitals are responsible for patients not just during their treatment but also for the 30 days after they've been discharged. It will be in the interests of the hospital for patients to be discharged only when they are ready and safe," he added.


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