Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Fears of ‘postcode lottery’ in Tayside as patients discharged early

Ninewells Hospital - run by NHS Tayside.
Ninewells Hospital - run by NHS Tayside.

Patients in Tayside are battling a “postcode lottery” and being discharged from high dependence hospital wards early due to staff and bed shortages, it has been claimed.

Scotland’s latest critical care audit results show Ninewells’ medical high dependency unit (HDU) and Perth Royal Infirmary’s (PRI) intensive care unit (ICU) have been discharging patients before they are ready more often than the national average.

Across Scotland, 1.1% of patients were released from a hospital or ward earlier than when is in their best interests last year.

In some cases this was a transfer to another ward, but the report considers an early discharge as any time a transfer is made that is “not in the best interest to the patient” but is “necessary due to a pressure on beds or staffing”.

Overall, Tayside is performing slightly better, with a rate of 1%.

But two wards in the region’s two biggest hospitals have been discharging patients at a considerably higher rate.

In Ninewells’ HDU it was 1.8% of patients and in PRI ICU it was even higher, at 2.8%.

The report also covers a slew of other topics such as delayed discharges and bed occupancy. NHS Tayside is largely in line with all other national averages.

But the early discharge figures have raised fears that people living in Tayside are not getting the best care possible.

Scottish Conservative MSP for the North East Bill Bowman said: “Staff at Ninewells work flat-out to provide appropriate care for inpatients.

“But when it comes to intensive care, this audit shows evidence of inadequate capacity in some locations.

“And both of Tayside’s main hospitals are above the Scottish average for early discharge, due to lack of space and staff.

“If that’s because of a lack of resources from the SNP government, they must explain why.

“There shouldn’t be a postcode lottery when lives are at risk.”

Professor Peter Stonebridge, acting medical director for NHS Tayside, said: “As part of Transforming Tayside, we will invest significantly in enhanced critical care facilities.

“Our HDUs are dedicated areas where we look after patients who have greater clinical needs for their care and treatment.

“We recognise that the early discharge rate between our HDUs is variable. This is partly due to the smaller number of patients treated in some of our units. For example, the numbers for the Perth facility equates to three patients per year.

“Although these statistics are defined as an early discharge, the patients are not discharged from hospital but are transferred to an appropriate hospital ward following a full individual clinical assessment of their needs.”

The worst offending area in Scotland overall for early discharges in 2018 was the Western Isles, with 3.1% patients leaving hospital early.

In Shetland, no patients were discharged early last year, according to the report.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]