Pulse, a site for health professionals, has conducted an in-depth survey of 500 GPs with sister title Practical Commissioning.
In an on-site review, it reports that one GP in seven regards a local hospital department as ‘dangerously substandard’ and provides evidence that in a significant minority of hospitals patients are dying because of failings in care.
There were complaints over:
- missed diagnoses,
- dangerously early discharge,
- poor emergency care
- substandard nursing care for elderly patients,
- delays to follow-up appointments
- and patients discharged so prematurely GPs could ‘no longer rely upon in-patient care being complete’.
A third of GPs raised concerns with their local hospital in the last year, in some cases with letters to clinical standards teams, but fewer than half felt confident that concerns would be acted upon.
Some testimonies citing various problems were quoted, ending with one from a GP in Romford, south London, who said his practice now re-referred a quarter of patients due to his local hospital discharging them on ‘target driven, not clinical’ criteria: ‘I have written to the chief executive to say if I had my way I would not refer a single patient to her institution.’
Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chair, urged GPs to sound the alarm with hospitals or via LMCs: ‘We must not stay silent.‘