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Midnight discharge at Colchester Hospital unacceptable says family

Lack of beds in the NHS and social care sector have been highlighted by the case of an 81-year-old woman discharged home at night, her family said.

Janice Field attended Colchester Hospital in Essex with a suspected heart attack.

She was returned to her flat at midnight, despite having no home care at that time of day.

The hospital trust said it focused on keeping patients safe and was "sorry to hear about the concerns raised".

Ms Field was checked out at the hospital last week and deemed fit to go home, but her family said she should have stayed in hospital overnight, or be found a community care bed.

Her daughter-in-law, Sarah Field, a qualified nurse, said: "To discharge an 81-year-old lady and have them having to be transferred in the middle of the night is totally unacceptable.

"But the nurse we spoke to was emphatic. She was desperate. She said, 'no, we have no beds. This has got to happen. She's clinically fit. She has got to go'.

"The NHS is broken, under-resourced and not fit for purpose. This is not the fault of those that work in it, but the fault of the system."

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Source: BBC News, 26 November 2022


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