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The affects of hospitalisation on patients causing readmissions

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Studies are being carried out in both the UK and the US to observe the affects of hospitalisation on patients who are readmitted within a month of being discharged. Dr Harlan Krumholtz from the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale School of Medicine, has observed that around 20% of US patients are readmitted within a month. In England around 7% are readmitted, costing the NHS around £2.4 billion in the 2012-2013 financial year. The research is suggesting that a hospital stay can weaken patients so much that they are more likely to become ill again after discharge. Dr Krumholtz is calling for patient care to be completely reviewed.

Stressed through lack of control

At present, Dr Krumholts states that hospital practices are stressing patients by depriving them of sleep, malnurishing them and subjecting them to unnecessary medical checks. Lack of personal relationship building during a patient’s stay could be causing patients to feel stressed through lack of control of their own time and bodies. Consultants informing patients that they will be back to see them at some time in the afternoon without giving a time window is considered in the study as “kind of an abuse of power”.

Simple steps, such as making wards more appealing for patients, like they do on children’s wards, should be considered. Among the practical steps suggested are replacing squeaky trolleys that wake people up in the night to banning non-essential medical observations between 2300 and 0600. Vastly improving hospital nutrition is also on the list.

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and are looking to claim compensation, please contact us. 


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