Hospital continuity of care ‘poor’

OVER a quarter (28 per cent) of consultant physicians rate continuity of care at their hospital as poor or very poor according to a survey carried out this month by the Royal College of Physicians.

In addition, over a quarter (27 per cent) judged their hospital as poor or very poor at delivering stable medical teams for patient care and education.

The RCP believes the results reinforce previous concerns of the increasing pressures NHS Trusts are facing due to the rise in acute admissions, the ageing population with increasingly complex conditions, and cuts in budgets and staffing. In order to address all these issues, the President of the RCP is setting up a Commission on the Future Hospital to be chaired by Professor Sir Michael Rawlins.

The commission will have five workstreams including people (medical teams, handover, communication), data (patient records, medical information, audit), place (medical wards, the patient pathway, generalists and specialists), planning infrastructure, and patients and compassion (leadership and responsibility, MDTs, end of life care).

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins said: "I am delighted to chair the Future Hospital Commission, which could not come at a more appropriate time. As the Commission begins, it will be able to take into account the changes to the commissioning and care delivery processes of the NHS arising from the Health and Social Care Bill, and the conclusions of the Francis Inquiry, both of which will underpin our work in improving care for the medical patient."

The commission is expected to report in Spring 2013.

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