Let doctors decide
HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley is right to highlight the scandal that 550,000 patients are readmitted to hospital each year after being discharged too early.
He’s right, too, to blame the 52 per cent rise in emergency readmissions on the last government’s obsession with waitinglist targets. But a word of caution. Just as Labour’s targets made doctors too quick to clear beds, isn’t there a risk that Mr Lansley’s penalties may make them too slow to send fit patients home?
Before the election, the Tories often promised to let doctors exercise their clinical judgment without interference from Whitehall.
Those were fine words, easily spoken in opposition. Mr Lansley must resist the temptation to forget them, now that he has his hands on the levers of power.