Hospital Dr News

Readmissions to hospital growing as funding and social care compromised, report says

The number of patients being readmitted to hospital in an emergency with potentially preventable conditions such as pneumonia and pressure sores has grown significantly in the last seven years.

These are the findings of an analysis by The Nuffield Trust, which looked at hospital data detailing patient diagnoses and the reasons behind emergency hospital readmissions between 2010/11 and 2016/17.

The analysis  tracks a 19% rise in patients being readmitted to hospital in an emergency within 30 days of discharge between 2010/11 and 2016/17.

Within this, the report identifies a 41.3% rise in emergency readmissions for conditions they classify as “potentially preventable”.

These “potentially preventable” readmissions include patients with pneumonia, pressure sores and venous thromboembolism (VTE) and were conditions that patients were not diagnosed with when they were first admitted to hospital.

These findings raise questions about the quality of care that our elderly population are receiving during their hospital stay, how they are discharged from hospital and the quality of community and social care services.

Between 2010/11 and 2016/17, the number of emergency readmissions within 30 days increased from 1,157,570 to 1,379,790, a rise of 19.2%.

The proportion of patient hospital stays that were followed by a readmission grew from 7.5% to 8%.

Potentially preventable emergency readmissions to hospital grew from 130,760 to 184,763 – an increase of 41.3%.

This means that the proportion of patient hospital stays that were followed by these types of readmission grew from 0.8% in 2010/11 to 1.1% in 2016/17.

Patients readmitted to hospital in an emergency with pneumonia increased from 41,003 in 2010/11 to 70,731 in 2016/17, an increase of 72.5%.

The increase in pneumonia readmissions was greater than the overall increase in pneumonia cases.

Emergency readmissions for pressure sores almost trebled from 7,787 in 2010/11 to 22,448 in 2016/17.

The increase in the number of patients being readmitted with a pressure sore superseded the overall increase in the number of pressure sore diagnoses in hospital.

Director of Research at the Nuffield Trust, Professor John Appleby said: “Unnecessary trips and overnight stays in hospital put a strain on elderly patients and their families. That is why it’s concerning that our research shows the number of people being readmitted to hospital within 30 days with potentially preventable conditions is greater than it was seven years ago.”

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, commented: “We already know that there is a strong correlation between high bed occupancy and patients being discharged prematurely which can then see patients having to be re-admitted within 30 days.

“The latest official figures show that bed occupancy across the country is still staggeringly high and way above levels considered safe. A chronic lack of resourcing is entirely to blame and with so few beds available, patients could end up being discharged before they’re fully ready to leave. A lack of district nurses and social care means that patients are also being discharged without enough support in home settings.

“To really combat these systemic pressures, the government must urgently increase spending on the NHS and review its long-term strategy for the health service.”

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation