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'Shocking' stories of unsafe hospital discharges uncovered by national inquiry

Healthwatch England has published a report showing vulnerable patients are being discharged unsafely because of a lack of communication and a fragmented service

Poor communication and coordination between services are leading to unsafe hospital discharges, says a report published today (July 21) by Healthwatch England.

Basic failings in the discharge process, which include not routinely asking vulnerable people if they have a safe place to be discharged to and families not being told loved ones are leaving hospital, are highlighted in the report.

It is based on the experiences of more than 3,000 vulnerable people who have been through the discharge process and surveyed by Healthwatch England.

A freedom of information request competed by 120 trusts in May, found 53% did not ask patients if they had essential foods, water and heating at home.

A YouGov poll of 3,495 adults across England found 26% of those admitted to hospital returned within 28 days.

Examples of poor practice uncovered include an 81-year-old stroke patient who was discharged at 10.30pm

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