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Quality care in the community: the Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

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Maximising the independence of patients

This is an excellent initiative from the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Quality care in the community is vital to ensure that patients maximise their independence after discharge from hospital, or when managing a chronic condition. I welcome an approach that would offer hospital doctors the opportunity to broaden their understanding of how people with such conditions can be supported in the community.

The Liberal Democrats advocate a “joined up” approach between the National Health Service and social care services to encourage good communication among general practitioners, social services and the local hospital, and to ensure the best quality care for each individual.

As it becomes possible for doctors to conduct more sophisticated investigations outside the hospital environment, such a scheme could ensure that more patients are supported in the community without needing to be admitted to hospital. This would reduce waiting times for hospital appointments and admissions, and free up much needed hospital beds for patients who do need to be admitted. I welcome this initiative.

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