Unsafe hospital discharge

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phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

The Ombudsman recently released a report on unsafe hospital discharge. You stated that,

"...we are publishing these cases to
highlight the human costs of poorly planned
discharge in terms of patient outcomes and
experience, and the untold anguish it can cause
their families and carers." http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/reports-and-...

Given that this is such an important matter and appears to be a frequent occurrence can you tell me if;

1. You hold data on unsafe hospital discharge past your 12 month retention period?

2. You hold data on unsafe hospital discharge on a searchable database which does not require a manual search through individual case files?

3. The data held enables you to identify improvement and hot spots.

4. How many of the 889 NHS cases which were refused investigation due to 'discretion' in 2014/15 concerned unsafe hospital discharge. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Yours faithfully,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Della Reynolds

 

FDN-261369

 

I write in response to your information request of 27 June 2016 in which
you asked the following in relation to the PHSO report into unsafe
discharge from hospitals:

Given that this is such an important matter and appears to be a frequent
occurrence can you tell me if;

1.  You hold data on unsafe hospital discharge past your 12 month
retention period?

2.  You hold data on unsafe hospital discharge on a searchable database
which does not require a manual search through individual case files?

3.  The data held enables you to identify improvement and hot spots.

4.  How many of the 889 NHS cases which were refused investigation due to
'discretion' in 2014/15 concerned unsafe hospital discharge. 
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

I have considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and have responded to each point in turn below.

 

 1. I am unable to confirm that we hold information in relation to unsafe
hospital discharge past our normal 12 month retention period. We
categorise the complaints we investigate by using keywords and themes.

‘Unsafe hospital discharge’ is not a keyword that we use. The closest
keyword to ‘unsafe hospital discharge’ that we use is ‘discharge from
hospital & coordination of services’. We do hold data (older than 12
months) about cases with this keyword but in order to answer your
question we would need to manually search through each complaint file
to see if the complaint was about ‘unsafe discharge’. Therefore it is
possible that we hold the information you are seeking but without
undertaking a manual search we would be unable to definitively provide
you with an answer.

 2. As explained in my answer above, we would need to manually search
through each complaint file in order to extract information from
complaints about ‘unsafe hospital discharge’. Therefore we do not hold
this data on a searchable database.

 3. In theory, if we were to manually extract the information we could
potentially identify areas or organisations with high levels of unsafe
discharge and then present our findings. If we find failings we ensure
that the organisation(s) identify how they will prevent this from
happening in future in an action plan.

 4. As the 889 NHS complaints were closed prior to any PHSO investigation
taking place they would not have necessarily had keywords added to
them. Our saved set of keywords on our system only contains keywords
for closed investigations.

Without manually checking through each of the 889 complaint files we
would be unable to provide you with an answer. The time it would take
to look through the complaint files would greatly exceed the
appropriate cost limit as set out in the Freedom of Information and
Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. As
giving you this information would exceed the appropriate cost as set
out at section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act, we are unable to
provide it to you.  

 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can be of any more
assistance. If you are unhappy with my handling of your information
request you may ask for an internal review at
[2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Rebyn Buleti

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

E: [3][email address]

W: [4]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...
2. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Rebyn Buleti,

thank you for your response. I found this part to be particularly significant given the Ombudsman's apparent ambition to improve unsafe hospital discharge.

3. In theory, if we were to manually extract the information we could
potentially identify areas or organisations with high levels of unsafe
discharge and then present our findings. If we find failings we ensure
that the organisation(s) identify how they will prevent this from
happening in future in an action plan.

The question which springs to mind is why 'in theory' and not in practice? How can the Ombudsman possibly monitor improvements or trends in unsafe hospital discharge when the information requires manual extraction from case files? Well, quite clearly the Ombudsman can't. Without monitoring from a baseline it is impossible to determine whether the 'valuable' reports issued by the Ombudsman make any difference at all. This recent report showed no improvement since the last similar report in 2011. No improvement in five years. The most logical conclusion must be that the 'action plans' are not being 'actioned'. Without the data in a retrievable form how can the Ombudsman possibly know whether individual Trusts have improved following investigation reports?

This reveals the truth. If the Ombudsman had one iota of concern for the 'untold anguish' of those suffering unsafe hospital discharge they would collect and monitor the data. Not knowing is the same as not caring.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Della Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-261369)

 

Thank you for your email of 25 July 2016.  It is not clear to us whether
you are making further information requests in your email or raising
rhetorical questions.

 

If you would like us to consider a further request from you under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, we would be glad if you could let us know
what recorded information you are seeking.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #342300 email]]
Sent: 25 July 2016 22:59
To: InformationRights
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Unsafe hospital discharge
(FDN-261369)

 

Dear Rebyn Buleti,

thank you for your response.  I found this part to be particularly
significant given the Ombudsman's apparent ambition to improve unsafe
hospital discharge.

3. In theory, if we were to manually extract the information we could
potentially identify areas or organisations with high levels of unsafe
discharge and then present our findings. If we find failings we ensure
that the organisation(s) identify how they will prevent this from
happening in future in an action plan.

The question which springs to mind is why 'in theory' and not in
practice?  How can the Ombudsman possibly monitor improvements or trends
in unsafe hospital discharge when the information requires manual
extraction from case files?  Well, quite clearly the Ombudsman can't. 
Without monitoring from a baseline it is impossible to determine whether
the 'valuable' reports issued by the Ombudsman make any difference at
all.  This recent report  showed no improvement since the last similar
report in 2011. No improvement in five years.  The most  logical
conclusion must be that the 'action plans' are not being 'actioned'. 
Without the data in a retrievable form how can the Ombudsman possibly know
whether individual Trusts have improved following investigation reports? 

This reveals the truth.  If the Ombudsman had one iota of concern for the
'untold anguish' of those suffering unsafe hospital discharge they would
collect and monitor the data.  Not knowing is the same as not caring. 

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

show quoted sections

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Amiee,

It is clear from your response that PHSO is not sufficiently concerned about unsafe hospital discharge to actually monitor the data. The report is just a PR exercise to make it look as though PHSO are concerned about patient safety. If there was genuine concern the data would be monitored, action plans followed up and serious sanctions applied. There is no prospect of improvement given that all the Ombudsman does is 'shine a light' on poor practice from time to time whilst ignoring evidence presented as part of an investigation. See PACAC evidence here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/commit...

No further questions.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

How can it be possible for PHSO to make a report on unsafe hospital discharge, when it doesn't know if there is such a thing as it doesn't have the data.....

Simply amazing....

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