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Revealed: Emergency readmission rates across the week


29 January 2016

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The rates of emergency readmissions have been published by Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to provide a starting point for discussions on how to effectively measure both improvement and variation in care provision across the week.

The rates of emergency readmissions have been published by Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to provide a starting point for discussions on how to effectively measure both improvement and variation in care provision across the week.

The rate of emergency readmissions within seven days of discharge increased over the week, with a low of 3.2% for discharges on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays to a high of 4.9% for discharges on Sundays.

The overall rate of emergency readmissions within seven days of discharge from hospital on a weekend was 4.4%. This is 1.1 percentage points higher than the corresponding rate for discharges during the rest of the week (3.3%).

Overall, just 14% of discharges were at a weekend.

“The differences in rates of emergency readmissions by day of discharge should act as a signal to investigate why such variation exists and to investigate what drives the variation seen in the results,” the report read.

The report used Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data to analyse the 16,396,322 eligible hospital discharges between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015, and identified emergency readmissions up to and including 6 July 2015.

This research comes after the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, delivered a speech in July 2015 ‘Making healthcare more human-centred and not system-centred’, which outlined his commitment to seven-day care and highlighted variation in outcomes associated with weekend hospitalisation.

However, HSCIC also found that nationally, there is a small amount of variation in the distribution of length of stay by day of admission.

This ranges from 47% of discharges following an emergency admission on a Saturday having a length of stay of 0 or 1 days to 52% of discharges following an emergency admission on a Thursday having a length of stay of 0 or 1 days, a range of 4 percentage points.

The median length of stay is one day longer for emergency admissions on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays than for emergency admissions on other days of the week.

See the full report here

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