Older people's experience of emergency hospital readmission: research report

LAWRIE Michael, BATTYE Fraser
Age UK
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Reducing the occurrence of emergency hospital readmission (an unplanned readmission within 28 days of leaving) for older people is a key issue for the NHS. Over the past decade, rates of emergency hospital readmission have risen, particularly for those over the age of 75. The aim of this study was to investigate older people’s experience of emergency readmission to hospital. The study comprised: qualitative interviews with 18 older people who have experienced an emergency readmission (and in several cases their families); a brief review of key policy documents and research; and 4 semi-structured interviews with senior stakeholders. Interviewees were asked to share their experience, beginning from their first admission to hospital through to the discharge and return home, and then their experience of the readmission to hospital. The findings show that emergency hospital readmission is a complex issue with multiple potential causes which range across an individual’s care pathway. However there are particular challenges to be addressed in the transition between secondary and primary care, and ensuring that a personalised care package is put in place in the community. Implications for Age UK both at the local and national levels are discussed.

Subject terms:
hospitals, older people, hospital admission, care pathways;
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