Saturday, December 09, 2006


  • Treat more patients at home, says NHS report. Some patients with life-threatening conditions, including ectopic pregnancies and blood clots on the lung, should normally be cared for at home by GPs and visiting nurses instead of being admitted to hospital, according to a draft NHS report. The recommendations were greeted with dismay yesterday by many doctors, who fear the drive to get patients treated in the community is accelerating in an effort to close down district general hospitals. The draft report, from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, lists a range of conditions regularly seen in A& E departments and which can lead to hospital admissions. While many doctors agree with the general principle of treating more patients in the community, there are concerns that a rapid deterioration in the health of some patients may not be spotted in time. One emergency consultant and former clinical director said it was not safe to classify most patients with pulmonary embolism - a blood clot in the lung - as low risk and suitable for care at home. The report says up to 90% do not need admission, but, he said, it would take an experienced doctor to pick the right ones to send home every time. Dr Chaand Nagpaul from the British Medical Association said many doctors would support the principle of caring for more patients outside of hospital, but there were "numerous unanswered questions" that needed to be addressed. The Department of Health said yesterday the report was still being consulted on.

    http:/ / medicine/ story/ 0,,1965989,00.html