Press clipping: Research
A STUDY is being launched to find out why thousands of patients go against medical advice and themselves from hospital.
Researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancaster University will explore the reasons why patients self- discharge
Between 2009 and 2010, almost 15 million patients were seen at hospitals across the UK, with around 1.5 per cent self-discharging – the equivalent of 225,000 people.
Hospital officials in Sheffield said yesterday that it is "especially common in ethnic minority and socially disadvantaged groups".
The two-year £6,000 study is to be led by David Warriner, a specialist cardiology registrar in Sheffield, and Laura Machin, a lecturer from Lancaster University’s medical school.
Dr Warriner said: "Protecting and caring for patients is the prime concern of all health professionals, so it’s really important that we look at why a significant number of patients choose to leave hospital before they are ready and contrary to hospital advice.
"During this study, we will be talking to patients and healthcare professionals to understand why people choose to leave hospital against medical advice, at what stage of their treatment this occurs and how this impacts on any follow-up care needed."
The pilot study will focus on patients who self-discharge from acute medical care, such as A&E departments and medical admissions units. Interviews will take place with healthcare staff and hospital managers with direct experience of patients self-discharging and also patients who have self-discharged.
Self-discharge is higher in NHS units dealing with patients suffering from mental health problems.