One in three hospital patients admitted as an emergency to be sent home without an overnight stay

One in three hospital patients admitted as an emergency to be sent home without an overnight stay

Officials say the schemes can prevent patients deteriorating from unnecessary or long stays in hospital, free up beds in hospital wards, and allow medics to focus on those who need the most urgent care.

Under the plans, one third of patients who require an emergency admission will be sent home the same day, up from a fifth currently.  

South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which pioneered the measures, is able to send half of emergency admissions home the same day, officials said.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, said: “For seriously ill people a hospital stay is often unavoidable, but we know that too many people – particularly the frail and elderly – are ending up trapped on wards for days on end.

“With modern technology we can now offer many more ill patients access to new rapid tests and optimal treatments from senior doctors all in the same day and avoid admission. That’s more convenient for our patients, and more efficient for the NHS.

“That’s why the NHS Long Term Plan will make sure that more people every year get the right care fast, meaning they could be safely back at home on the same day, and at the same time more hospital beds can be freed up for those who need them most.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said the policy could benefit older people, but warned that it must not be misapplied so pensioners were rushed out of hospital before they are medically fit to leave.

“The focus must always be on understanding and  meeting older people’s needs, not on hitting a particular target,” she said.

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