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Gold, incentives and meh

GPs slam claim over discharges

The Government's drive to tackle bed blocking is putting vulnerable patients' lives at risk, GPs have warned.

Official figures released last week showed 1,500 fewer patients per day were waiting to be discharged in September 2002 than a year earlier, when a Department of Health campaign was launched.

But Dr Reuben Prasad, chair of the GPC hospital and special services sub-committee and a GP in Chorley, Lancashire, said: 'Elderly people are being discharged without adequate community care. The figures are just to gain brownie points.'

Dr Dermot Ryan, a member of the British Thoracic Society asthma guidelines group and a GP in Loughborough, Leicestershire, said one of his patients recently died after being repeatedly discharged and readmitted.

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