Hospital pledge over readmittance stats

HOSPITAL bosses last night admitted that more needs to be done if they are to reduce the number of patients that have to be readmitted after being sent home.

HOSPITAL bosses last night admitted that more needs to be done if they are to reduce the number of patients that have to be readmitted after being sent home.

It comes after the latest performance report from Ipswich Hospital shows that between May and February 2006/07 nearly 1 in 10 people (9.52%) have had to return within 28 days of being discharged.

Although this number dropped to 6.1% for March (figures were not available for April) a spokeswoman for the hospital said they would be keeping a close eye on the situation.

She said: “We are looking at that very carefully to make sure that we are keeping people in hospital for as long as they need to be, and there is the right level of support when they go home.


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“We need to do more and we are reviewing this whole area.”

The performance report, to be considered at a trust board meeting on Thursday, also shows the number of cancelled operations has risen in the last year.

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The figure peaked at 54 in January of this year and in April fell to 29 but this is still greater than the 20 that were cancelled in May 2006.

The spokeswoman said: “The level of cancelled operations is less than 1% of the total number of people we bring into the hospital.

“The main reason for those is a shortage of specialist staff or specialist beds, or cases over-running.”

She said once the new Garrett Anderson centre opened it would almost eliminate such incidents.

However there was improved performance with regards to finance as the trust is expecting to have saved £1.25m in 2006/07.

“This has been a year of progress and financial turnaround following a large and unexpected deficit at the end of last year,” the spokeswoman said.

“The final accounts are still in the process of being audited but we expect to have a year surplus of about £1m. This surplus will help begin paying off the accumulated debt of about £18m.”

One way in which the trust has been able to make its savings is by reducing the number of posts at the hospital by 275 when compared to this time last year.

However there has also been a rise in staff sickness levels, which peaked at 5% of the workforce in January but was down to 3.8% in March compared to 4% in May 2006.

The spokeswoman said: “We have lost 275 posts in the last year but that doesn't necessarily mean people.

“We recognise this has been a very painful year and that it has been very stressful for people. However the rise in staff sickness levels is partly down to more rigorous reporting.

“We are doing everything we can to support people and help manage those absence levels.”

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