Reducing hospital bed days is currently the ultimate currency in healthcare. Large amounts of money seem to increasingly be diverted from tried and tested workforces into new services, new jobs, and new technology in order to prevent patients being admitted to hospital. Some of these new ideas could work well, while others have the potential to be a catastrophe, but what unites them all is a focus on a single outcome: saving bed days in the acute hospital. But The NHS's single minded pursuit of admission avoidance risks ignoring other important outcomes, writes Alison Leary in this BMJ opinion piece.
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