For healthcare professionals only

Research Article

Increase in acute admissions and deaths after closing a geriatric day hospital.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 18 January 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:176
  1. P N Berrey


    In 1978 the normal function of a large geriatric day hospital was halted by 16 weeks of industrial action. Comparing affected patients with a matched control population for the years 1974-80 showed an appreciable increase in acute hospital admissions and deaths of those affected by the stoppage, which suggests an obvious benefit for those who are selected for attendance at a geriatric day hospital. Neither the number of acute admissions nor the number of deaths during the two months after normal services were resumed differed appreciably from those in the control years. No single cause predominates among those reported for acute admission or death during the affected year. These findings are relevant given the recent closure of several day hospitals by health authorities to cut costs. There are no published figures showing unequivocal benefits for attendance at day hospitals, and many clinicians remain unaware of their function. Yet adequate provision for day hospitals may ease the pressure on more costly acute hospital beds.