Slow stream rehabilitation is a thing of the past. Now they rush elderly people out of hospital faster than they rush them in. Unblocking beds is almost as vital as unblocking drains. Hot bedding does not include hot water bottles. Just like hot desking, it is becoming the new “just in time” technique in the NHS. Nobody should be in hospital one minute more than it takes to fill in all the paperwork.
The problem is that older people don’t heal as quickly as the young and often don’t have anyone to look after them when they return home. So surprise, surprise they frequently come bouncing back to the NHS not long after they have been discharged as “cured”.
16% of all over 75’s needed emergency re-admission within 28 days of being discharged. In 2010/11 that amounted to 210,000 re-bound admissions. That compares to 103,000 re-admissions in 2001/2. In the meantime rehabilitation and convalescence are wards and words that have disappeared from the NHS dictionary of helpful hints and tips.
If you were a manufacturer or a retailer and 16% of your product was returned as defective, you would soon go out of business. In the topsy turvey business world of the NHS, each discharge of an elderly person is counted as a “successful clinical episode”.
BOX – SO THAT’S ALRIGHT THEN