‘Patients are sent home far too early’

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A CHARITY that helps elderly people is horrified at the number of pensioners it claims are being discharged from hospital too early.

Chiefs at Age Concern Dacorum believe patients are being sent home before they are ready to free up beds as hospital staff struggle to cope with demand.

Charity chief executive Atifa Ali-Khan said reducing the national debt should not mean a reduction in care for vulnerable members of society.

She said: “There needs to be more consideration of individual health needs, not just emptying of beds and saving costs. There needs to be more respite provision provided as a stepping stone from a hospital stay to being at home.”

Colin Johnston, medical director at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The trust always aims to put the patient central to the discharge process and works closely with its adult care and primary care colleagues to treat patients according to their individual needs. 

“We are always sorry to hear that any patient is unhappy with the care they have received and if a patient or their relatives would like to contact us directly we would be happy to thoroughly investigate their concerns.”

Read the full story in this week’s Gazette.