THE Countess of Chester Hospital has hit back at claims it sends patients home in the middle of the night to relieve pressure on beds.
The Countess was named as having among the highest rates of patients discharged between 11pm and 6am in a study by The Times.
It had claimed that 7.2% of all patients at the Countess of Chester were discharged within those hours – the second highest percentage of 100 trusts which responded to a freedom of information request.
Patient campaigners said the elderly were worst affected as they were sent home to empty houses without ‘proper planning’.
But the Countess said the figures took into account discharges of ‘any type’ – such as people who had attended casualty and were ready to leave, patients who had discharged themselves and urgent transfers to other hospitals.
Peter Herring, chief executive of the hospital, said: “The information also included maternity patients and patients who discharged themselves as well as our renal dialysis patients and urgent transfers to other hospitals.
“Patient safety is our number one priority and where patients are discharged later at night we always ensure they are comfortable with the discharge arrangements and that they are not discharged against their will at inappropriate times.”