Details of the Request
For the financial year 2013-14:
- The number of patients recorded as discharged between the hours of 23:00 and 06:00 and the percentage of total discharges this represents
- A breakdown of these discharges by reason for discharge, specifically for the following categories:
- medical advice
- discharges by a relative
- any other reasons specified by your records
- Please advise whether your data records the time of discharge or the time at which the discharge was processed, and any further guidance you are able to give on the accuracy or reliability of the data you are releasing.
- If it does not exceed cost limits, the same request applying to data for the 2012-13 financial year.
Details of the Response
The Trust holds the requested information, but considers it is exempt under section 12 of the Act, as the cost of compliance is estimated to exceed the statutory limit. Specifically, we are unable to ascertain this information accurately from our Patient Administration System, as this does not record the time of discharge but instead the time at which the discharge was processed, which is often many hours later or at night during the quieter hours on the ward. Nursing staff are rightly wary of moving patients at night and most placements outside hospital (such as those at community hospitals) do not accept people after the early evening. Where necessary, we do move patients within the hospital (e.g. back to critical care if they deteriorate on a ward) but the only accurate way to identify discharge times would be to do a labour intensive, manual check.