CQC wants better discharge data

Nearly half of PCTs report that GPs do not receive hospital discharge summaries in time for them to be of any use, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report reveals.

The report calls on PCTs to assess whether hospitals send the right data to GPs in good time and to take action when they fall short of contractual obligations.

The CQC found that only 53 per cent of PCTs reported that GPs were sent discharge letters quickly enough to be useful all or most of the time.

GPs also reported problems with the quality of discharge summaries, with 88 per cent of practices reporting that diagnosis summaries were incomplete or inaccurate all or most of the time.

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said that medication incidents can cause unnecessary harm and distress: 'People have a right to expect clinicians to know details about each stage of their care.

'There needs to be a change of attitude in the NHS in recognising how important it is for clinicians to pass the baton smoothly between services in order to offer person-centred, integrated care.'

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