Today the Public Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has published findings from its investigation into complaints regarding unsafe hospital discharges.
Focusing on nine of the most serious cases that the ombudsman saw, this report highlights the consequences of health and social care organisations failing to manage people's discharge from hospital.
Of particular concern were issues around poor communication and improper planning for continued care after someone left hospital.
Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Advocacy at national hospice care charity Hospice UK, said:
“The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman report into unsafe hospital discharges highlights failings that are of particular concern to dying people. Giving someone the best possible end of life care is a shared responsibility between a number of players, including the NHS and non-statutory care providers such as hospices.
“Maintaining the right level of care requires intelligent and compassionate coordination of these services and a mutual understanding of what hospices and hospitals each have to offer people with life-shortening illnesses. There may well be many cases where an unsafe discharge can be avoided by simply recognising that hospital may not be the most appropriate place for a dying person to be and that their admission was actually unnecessary.
“If someone requiring palliative care is discharged from hospital, support needs to be in place to make sure that their right to quality end of life care is not compromised. While this report makes it clear that work still needs to be done, it is reassuring to know that hospices are already working with hospitals through educational partnerships and collaborative projects to make sure that dying people get the right type of care when and where they need it.”
View the PHSO's full report.
Notes to editor
- Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
- Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
- For further information about hospice care follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
- Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK. This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter @ehospicenews.
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