What do the numbers say about hospital readmissions?
Healthwatch England has taken a detailed look at the data around emergency readmissions.
Admissions to hospital and delayed transfers of care (DTOCs) are well monitored and understood, but information about the number of people being readmitted to hospital for unplanned follow-up treatment is less widely available.
Indeed, nothing has been published at a national level regarding these figures since December 2013. NHS Digital says on its website that this is because the methodology is being reviewed.
In October 2017 Healthwatch England published a report, What happens when people leave hospital and other care settings? This briefing set out what we have heard about people's experiences of leaving hospital over the last two years. It recommended that health and social care organisations improve their use of data to understand where the discharge process is going wrong.
Following this work, Healthwatch England has taken a more detailed look specifically at the data around emergency readmissions. The work follows a 2016 report by the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee which said the Government and NHS need to improve their understanding of this particular dataset.