It is a frustrating and yet inevitable fact that hospitals all over the country waste time and money due to unnecessary admissions and cancelled operations. The excellent Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2012 has investigated those NHS trusts who are the best and worst performers in this regard.
One area they looked into were the number of scheduled operations that weren’t performed – this takes up bed space, raising hospital occupancy rates and putting excess strain on staff, not to mention wasting the patient’s time. Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust and St Mary’s hospital came bottom. Here are the main results:
The lowest rates of scheduled operations that weren’t performed feature:
• University College London Hospitals – 1.3%
• Heart of England – 1.7%
• Sheffield Teaching Hospitals – 1.7%
• Gloucestershire Hospitals – 1.9%
• Buckinghamshire Healthcare – 1.9%
The highest rates of scheduled operations that weren’t performed feature:
• Harrogate and District – 5.7%
• Newham University Hospital – 5.0%
• North West London Hospitals – 4.4%
• Northampton General Hospital – 4.3%
• NHS Isle of Wight – 4.3%
The rate of cancelled operations has actually been declining recently, but it is still a major problem in many hospitals – more than 200,000 patients were put in this stressful position in the last year alone. The report shows that more judgement needs to be exercised when deciding if an operation is needed, in particular when the patient’s symptoms are only vague. Many patients end up staying in hospital overnight and getting discharged the next day without being given a proper diagnosis, and this can result in higher bed usage that could have been prevented. In fact, this occurred more than 500,000 times last year, leading the Hospital Guide to suggest that hospitals look again at their A&E procedures. Certain operations have also been shown to be of little or no benefit to certain patients; tonsillectomies, for example, are not always necessary.
Another area that was investigated was the number of excess bed days which occurred in each trust: this takes the number of patients who ended up staying in hospital longer than the time they were predicted. This can cause stress to both patients and the staff who don’t have the resources to look after them efficiently, and of course means that beds can’t be freed up for new, more urgent patients.
The lowest excess bed day rates as found by the guide were:
• Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals – 4.1%
• George Eliot Hospital – 4.5%
• Weston Area Health – 4.5%
• Southport and Ormskirk Hospital – 5.1%
• East Cheshire – 5.2%
Whereas the highest excess bed day rates were:
• University College London Hospitals – 23.0%
• East Sussex Healthcare – 21.6%
• Royal Free London – 19.7%
• Brighton and Sussex University – 18.7%
• Northampton General Hospital – 18.5%
Other areas looked at by the guide included the number of short-stay emergency admissions as well as the number of procedures of limited clinical effectiveness, showing that there is room for improvement in all categories.
If you Live on the Isle of Wight and have been a victim of clinical negligence, contact us now
If you are admitted to hospital and are treated negligently causing you pain, suffering and even financial loss, you could claim compensation – but you’re going to need a specialist solicitor to have the best chances of a successful compensation claim. Unfortunately, currently there aren’t any specialist clinical negligence lawyers on the Isle of Wight.
However, our expert team cover claims on the island – and are happy to make a home or hospital visit if you can’t travel to the mainland. Click here to how we can help you more with your Isle of Wight clinical negligence claim.
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