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Cornish Patients Discharged at Night

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3:01pm 22nd May 2014

It has been revealed that almost five thousand Cornish patients are being discharged in the middle of the night.

The figures are falling, but they still show more than 800 people over the age of 75 were turned out of Treliske between 11pm and 6am last year.

Health bosses have already been told that it is unacceptable without the right support.

Doctor Mike Smith speaks for the Patients Association.

He says they have seen examples of it happening at hospitals across the country: "They've got people chomping at the bit in the A&E, lying in corridors, they've got to be admitted and they have no beds. It's for the convenience of staff and the convenience of that person they're admitting, but at the gross detriment to the person that they're chucking out and I do say that; chucking out.

"It's unacceptable really. I mean we've had instances on our helpline where people have phoned us in and said at two o'clock in the morning, they live alone, their central heating's off and they've been told they've got to go home and sometimes even, oh get your own taxi, not even an ambulance or a ready car to take them home."

A spokesperson for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals' said:

"It is our aim not to discharge any inpatient at night unless it is appropriate and in the patient's best interest.  Some patients will choose to go home themselves and are consequently included in the figures that have been released today. The figures also show that we have reduced the number of night time discharges for patients over 75 years.

"When a patient does go home at night our staff have a clear procedure to follow to ensure that the safety of the individual is always taken into account."

3:01pm 22nd May 2014

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