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NHS spends £820m a year keeping older patients in hospital unnecessarily

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3019 (Published 26 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3019
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

The NHS in England wastes nearly £1bn (€1.31bn; $1.47bn) every year treating older patients in hospital who no longer need acute care, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.

On 26 May the public spending watchdog published Discharging Older Patients from Hospital,1 in which it said that health and social care services’ management of discharging older patients from hospital did not represent value for money.

The NAO estimated that the gross annual cost to the NHS of treating older patients in hospital who no …

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