The Royal College of Nursing is among the organisations backing a campaign for hospitals to routinely record simple care information when a patient is admitted, such as the presence of a pressure ulcer.
The data analysis company Dr Foster Intelligence, which publishes the annual Hospital Guide, is calling for a section for “present on admission (POA)” information to be added to routine NHS hospital data collection.
This would mean hospitals would have to record whether each patient had a pressure sore, infection, or an injury from a fall when they were admitted.
When processed the data could be used to give a better picture of the quality of hospital care, and also highlight any potential problems with the community and social care the patient had received previously.
Care Quality Commission chief executive Cynthia Bower has signed a letter to health secretary Andrew Lansley calling on him to ask the NHS Information Centre to implement the change quickly.
The letter is also signed by Royal College of Nursing chief executive Peter Carter, Dr Foster Intelligence and representatives from 16 hospital trusts.
It states: “A POA flag will provide an early warning system in adult social care by identifying from where patients are being admitted, how often and if their condition is an indicator of poor quality of care such as a pressure sore.”
A CQC spokesman said: “We’re supporting this proposal because it will help us to better understand where and how frequently people are being admitted from care homes to hospital with pressure sores and other conditions – information which will feed into our assessments of care providers.”
Another signatory is Commons public accounts committee chair and Labour MP for Barking Margaret Hodge.
Those behind the plan believe it will help meet the recommendation, made in last year’s National Audit Office report on the CQC, that better information should be developed about social care quality.