HOSPITAL bosses have defended themselves after figures revealed they were among the top offenders for sending patients home in the middle of the night.
A freedom of information request revealed that Milton Keynes General Hospital was in the top six nationally for sending patients home between 11pm and 6am.
Around six per cent of patients admitted to the hospital are discharged between the night-time hours, but Medical Director Martin Wetherill said that the figures are misleading.
“The figures quoted include areas like A&E and maternity, where it is simply about letting a patient go home when their checks have been carried out,” he said. “Even when a patient has just been waiting in an assessment area, if they are vulnerable we will only send them home when we know that care is in place for them.
“As a general rule, we do not discharge patients from bedded areas between 9pm and 8am. Our discharge rate from these bedded areas equates to roughly two per cent, not six per cent.
“In other words, approximately three patients each night from bedded areas. The wishes of patients are a big factor in these figures.
“We would of course investigate any complaints where it is suggested that we have discharged a patient inappropriately, but we have not received any complaints of this nature.”
The hospital also confirmed that no official complaints have been lodged regarding late night releases.
Derby Hospital was the worst performing with 8.7 per cent of discharges taking place between 11pm and 6am.