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Nearly 6000 pensioners have been discharged from hospital in the middle of the night - Wolves Lib Dems

October 13, 2019 2:23 PM
By Nick Machnik-Foster

Nearly 6000 pensioners have been discharged from hospital in the middle of the night - Wolves Lib Dems

  • 5845 elderly patients, some 85 years of age and older were ejected between 10pm and 6am
  • Practice continues after damning report saying it can lead to deaths and NHS advice to curb it
  • Lib Dems urge Hospitals told not to discharge elderly in middle of the night as latest part of their NHS SOS campaign

Nearly 6000 patients have been booted out of hospitals in the middle of the night over the past year - despite fears it could be dangerous for vulnerable elderly people according to figures unearthed by Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats.

The data released to Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats under the Freedom of Information Act shows that 5845 patients over 65 years old were discharged from hospital in the middle of the night in the last year.

In April 2012 the then NHS England medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh called on hospitals to cut down on overnight discharges following a series of cases where vulnerable patients had been left to make their own way home.

In 2016 a "damning" report, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee also said discharges between 11pm and 6am had led to the deaths of some vulnerable patients. At the time, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman boss Julie Mellor said: "We see too many cases where discharge from hospital has gone horribly wrong, particularly for older, frail people who often don't have the right support in place at home to cope on their own."

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust discharged 426 elderly patents were between at night. 83 of the elderly discharges were pensioners over the age of 85 years old. 168 patients discharged were between 75 and 84 years of age and 175 patients were between 65 and 74 years old.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust discharged the most at 2190 elderly people. 607 of them were over 85 years old at night.

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust discharged 1407 pensioners, 800 of whom were over 85 years of age. 101 patients were sent home to their place of residence in the middle of the night.

The party have called on local hospitals to end the practice of night-time discharges for elderly patients. This is the latest part of the city Lib Dems NHS SOS campaign to defend and extend health services in the city.

Commenting, Wolverhampton Liberal Democrat campaigner Natasha Allmark said:

"Discharging patients often elderly and vulnerable late at night is totally inconsiderate and unacceptable and displays no compassion or thought for the individual patient.

"Hospitals may think it is convenient for them to ask people to leave in the middle of the night but is it convenient and safe for a patient who may well have been in hospital for a considerable amount of time, to go home without any warning to an empty cold house - how patient centred is this?

"Imagine this was your gran or grandad. It is a totally unacceptable practice in what is supposed to be a caring environment. It needs to stop."

Ends

Notes to Editors - If you use this research please cite Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats as its source. Night-time is classed as 2200 until 0600 the next morning.

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