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Author Topic: What do NHS targets really mean? - a recent example  (Read 1449 times)

Offline antonymous

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What do NHS targets really mean? - a recent example
« on: 11 January, 2013, 10:23:08 PM »
In the Times today it is reported that an elderly man who was taken into hospital by ambulance with breathing problems late on New Years Eve, was, after being examined and prescribed anti-biotics, discharged at 2 am. He did not have any cards or cash on him due to the emergency nature of his admission, so he couldn't order a taxi, and the nursing sister told him that in that case he should walk home as no non urgent transport was available and emergency ambulances could not be used.
He got half the 23 miles home stumbling along unlit roads feeling very ill and vulnerable until a second police car gave him a lift home (the first one simply warned him how dangerous it was to be walking that route in those conditions and drove off !)

The target set for emergency wards is either to admit a patient  to hospital within 4 hours or discharge them.
I had a similar experience a month ago, fortunately my 4 hours ran out at 11 am, and I got the same treatment plus some pain-killers, but tho I had no outdoor clothing I did have a bus pass and was able to catch the first of the three buses necessary to get home right outside the main door.
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Re: What do NHS targets really mean? - a recent example
« Reply #1 on: 14 November, 2013, 10:37:55 AM »
Well, let's face it - NHS targets are not for the benefit of the patients!

Examples -

Targets have been blamed for distorting clinical priorities. The Conservative party has claimed that the four-hour target for waiting times in accident and emergency (A&E) has led to distortions such as holding emergency patients in trolley waiting areas. And media reports based on internal ambulance service documents suggest that some patients have been held in ambulances outside emergency departments to avoid 'starting the clock' (Guardian 2008, Telegraph 2009).
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If I was discharged in the middle of the night with no means of transport I should kip down in a waiting room until I could arrange something.