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Better information sharing needed when patients are discharged from hospital, says RCGP Wales

Dr Martin O'Donnell, RCGP Wales Vice-Chair, said:

"Patient discharge arrangements are a common source of frustration for patients, and they can be frustrating for GPs as well. When they leave hospitals patients are not discharged from care, rather their care is transferred back to primary care.

"Good information sharing can ensure patients experience continuity of care even when they're seeing different healthcare professionals. When a patient leaves hospital GPs need to have the right type of information, particularly around medication and any significant developments during the stay. Often this isn't the case.

"Information also needs to be transferred in the right way; it shouldn't be a surprise that electronic discharge delivers improved outcomes. It's further evidence of the NHS being held back because of a lack of IT and technology.

"The report was also clear that communication between hospitals and general practice needed to improve. RCGP Wales was fully supportive of the recent Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales report on this topic, and were pleased to see it referenced here."

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