Putting Acute Care on the Health Care Agenda: A Study of Discharged Hospital Patients into the Community

Bright, Olga (1990). Putting Acute Care on the Health Care Agenda: A Study of Discharged Hospital Patients into the Community. MPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fc5d

Abstract

This research examines acute patients discharged from hospital to the community. The work is based on interviews with forty- five economically active and retired patients discharged from the Milton Keynes District General Hospital. The research shows that the needs of acute care patients are similar to, and often greater than those of the 'priority groups', the elderly, the disabled and the handicapped. In the light of present trends towards early discharge, the research directs attention to the conceptual and the practical problems of current community care policy. The thesis examines the relationship between the hospital, the community health professionals and the family. It shows that there is not only a move away from institutional care but also a move away from professional care to lay care. Current health policies have an implicit expectation that patients should become knowledgeable 'consumers' of health care. The study uses the concept of the convalescent career to explore the transition from the hospital to the community, and recommends a broader interpretation for the provision and distribution of health and social services in the community.

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