Readmissions within 30 days cost the NHS £1.6bn a year

Readmitting patients to hospital within 30 days of them being discharged is costing the NHS around £1.6bn a year, statistics show.

Report shows readmission rates to hospitals are high and very costly (Photograph: SPL)

Figures from the Hospital Episode Statistics database shows between June 2009 and July 2010, around 6.5% of the 14.2m patients discharged from hospital were readmitted within 30 days.

It also highlights a wide variation between hospital with readmission rates, which has been mapped by healthcare data provider CHKS.

The map shows that readmission rates in some hospitals accounts for up to 15% of average turnover, but in others it accounts for less than 1%.

Earlier this month, health secretary Andrew Lansley revealed plans to fine hospitals if patients are readmitted as emergencies within 30 days of being discharged.

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