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Hospitals to ration admissions

Hospitals are being urged to be far stricter over which patients they admit in a fresh Government drive to cut unnecessary emergency admissions.

The Department of Health said hospitals should move from an 'admit to decide' system ­ where the default is to admit patients ­ to a 'decide to admit' system, with more con- sideration given to other methods of care.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said better management of 18 chronic illnesses in the community and better assessment processes could cut admissions by 30 per cent and save the NHS more than £400 million a year.

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement also

recommended implementing local systems to feed back to GPs which patients fell into the short-stay hospital admissions category.

It said commissioners should use practice-based commissioning and community nurses to prevent unplanned emergency admissions.

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