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Patients face 'distressing readmissions'

From BBC - October 25, 2017

The number of patients in England being readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge has risen by nearly a quarter in the last four years, a watchdog has said.

Figures compiled by Healthwatch suggest one in five of these potentially distressing readmissions happen 48 hours after being sent home.

The watchdog warns patients may be being rushed out early.

NHS England says it is impossible to know the reasons for the readmissions.

An emergency readmission occurs when a patient needs to go back into hospital unexpectedly for further treatment, within 30 days of having been discharged.

Readmissions in such a short space of time raise concerns about patients being discharged unsafely, and about the pressure on hospitals to free up beds.

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Healthwatch was prompted to look at the issue as none of the official national NHS bodies collects data on readmissions.

It asked hospital trusts to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act.

There were some differences in the way the data was collected, but it received comparable data from 72 hospital trusts, just over half the total in England.

The results showed:

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