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Number of patients readmitted to hospital rises to 1.38m in a year

Increase of 19.2% leads to fears that busy NHS staff are missing warning signs

The number of patients who have to be taken back into hospital in England within 30 days rose 19.2% from 1.16 million in 2010-11 to 1.38 million in 2016-17, according to a report by the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation thinktanks.

Medical leaders have voiced unease at the findings, particularly that almost 200,000 patients a year are having a second spell in hospital because staff failed to spot they had a blood clot, pneumonia or pressure sores. Researchers identified those three conditions as a source of acute concern because they are all preventable, as long as the patient receives the right care, either in or outside hospital.

The number of patients readmitted as a result of those illnesses grew over the same period, from 130,760 to 184,763 – a rise of 41.3%. Readmissions with pneumonia rose by 72.5%, while those involving pressure sores almost trebled and those for venous thromboembolism (blood clots) were up by a third.

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