It is a matter of common knowledge that patients in hospital vary widely in their dependency on doctors, nurses and a wide range of facilities.
While an increasing number require artificial support of some vital function and are dependent on staff operating complex equipment, patients at the other end of the scale remain in ‘acute’ wards although at a stage of almost complete independence from medical and nursing care.
It is a key question in hospital administration and planning whether or not a significant number of minimally dependent patients might be more suitable placed in hospital accommodation of a less elaborate nature but which would still permit skilled observation in the pre-discharge state.
This report contributes to an analysis of the problem and contains proposals designed to allow a closer assessment of various economies in construction and in the deployment of skilled staff, which might be secured if a proportion of 'acute' beds was designed specifically to cater for the 'pre-discharge' patient.
Meredith JS, Anderson MA, Price AC and Leithead J (1968) 'Hostels' in hospitals? The analysis of beds in hospitals by patient dependency. Nuffield Trust.