20 Jul 2015

The ‘revolving door of care’: unsafe hospital discharges

The homeless, older people, those with mental health conditions.  These are the patients whose voices we rarely hear.  Even when it goes wrong and the NHS lets them down.

But for the past year, Healthwatch England, which is the body representing patients, has been conducting an inquiry into unsafe hospital discharge.  And Channel 4 News has been following them as they gathered evidence and helping record some of their stories.

We spoke to Rory MacKenna in the subway below the Strand in London.  He was sent back out on to the streets from hospital after breaking his ribs and puncturing his lungs.

In our second film we spoke to mothers who had been sent home after giving birth despite having all the symptoms of severe postnatal psychosis or depression.

And finally we filmed with Lily and Frank Roberts.  The hospital sent him home in a cab without warning his wife.  He’d had his third stroke and was clearly unwell.  Several days later he had to be readmitted.

They call it the revolving door of admissions.  They are sent home too soon and then have to be readmitted.  It costs the NHS and it harms the patients.  And according to the final report that harm can be fatal.

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