Hospital returns too high

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MORE than one in four patients need to be hastily readmitted to Wigan’s hospitals.

Health chiefs expressed shock at the figures which reveal that 26.8 per cent of patients visiting Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust are soon having to return for further treatment for the same or a related complaint. That’s nearly two per cent above the Government target of 25 per cent.

The figure was revealed during the latest Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Groupboard meeting, which prompted an alarmed reaction from some members.

Dr Pete Marwick, a clinical lead on the WBCCG board, said: “I’m shocked by the figure and it is something we don’t see day to day in GP surgeries.”

These sentiments were echoed by fellow board member Dr Mohan Kumar who said: “This needs to be less than 25 per cent and this needs to be looked at.”

According to WBCCG, approximately eight per cent of people discharged from hospitals in Wigan borough are readmitted within 30 days. Of this, 74 per cent are caused by unexpected or unpredictable change or deterioration in the patient condition and 26 per cent are caused by problems with readmission avoidance procedures.

The board also have a financial incentive to reduce the figure as it is currently costing the WBCCG a £250,000 for every percentage point they are above the national target.

However, the board says it is looking to reduce the figure and are working to ensure that the correct levels of care are being put in place for patients when they leave hospital.

Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and chairman of WBCCG said: “Readmission of patients back into hospital causes anxiety and inconvenience for patients.

“We are continually working with our NHS partners at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust to keep readmissions as low as possible. All local primary, community and secondary care clinicians work with patients to ensure they get the best care experience possible.”