Let doc­tors de­cide

Daily Mail - - News -

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.

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