Health watchdog carrying out study into patient care after leaving hospitals in Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough

The University Hospital of Hartlepool
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

A HEALTH watchdog is to carry out a major study surrounding plans that are in place when patients are released from hospital.

Healthwatch Hartlepool has announced a full review of the discharge process at the area’s three hospitals following concerns raised by members of the public.

It will focus on how the hospitals plan for a patient’s release and in particular on whether everything is in place for care packages once home.

Stephen Thomas, of Healthwatch Hartlepool, said: “There are two main areas where we have picked up on problems.

“An individual may have been discharged too early, although that is more rare, but the majority are where the care and support package doesn’t come to fruition in he way it should.

“As people are living longer they are being discharged with quite complex care and support packages.

“Somewhere along the lines communication between the various agencies involved goes wrong.

“The indications are all the partner organisations are fully on board and supportive.”

The study will take place early next year by Healthwatch volunteers and is expected to take several months.

It will focus on the university hospitals of Hartlepool and North Tees as well as James Cook in Middlesbrough.

The group will produce a series of recommendations that will be fed back to the hospital trusts and council.