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Discharge reports need to work for patients and GPs



We reported today on another tragic case, this time involving a 55-year-old woman who died from a large myocardial infarction.

The coroner criticised Nuffield Health’s ‘unwieldy’ discharge policy, saying as a result GPs were not clearly informed what happened to the patient, or that a blood test was vital. Although this is a private hospital, many GPs will recognise problems with hospitals discharging patients.

It’s about time that trusts review their discharge policies

Too often, GPs are left having to spend valuable time discharge letters, spend valuable time deciphering these discharge letters, chasing them up or having to organise tests directed by the letters (which, in this case, should have been organised by Nuffield Health).

I continually hear that this is one of the biggest burdens for practices. But GPs know that failure to properly decipher such letters can have tragic consequences.

It’s about time that trusts review their discharge policies in a way that benefits patients and GPs.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at editor@pulsetoday.co.uk