With reference to your article concerning the problem with hospital discharges I would like to point out that this was envisaged years ago by staff at Christchurch and other hospitals that had excellent geriatric rehabilitation facilities.

When these wards were closed there was nowhere to move recovering patients, many of whom could return home with the excellent rehabilitation provided by skilled physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and medical and nursing staff working together.

For short term profits many of these facilities were sold off.

Patients languish in expensive acute beds and because of the demands on staff do not get the rehabilitation they need to reach their optimum level prior to discharge. Hence blocked beds and long waits for hospital admissions.

Another factor for those being discharged home is the privatisation of the home care service which prior Thatcher was in the main run by local authorities.

This ensured a good recruitment and induction programmes as well as good conditions for staff.

This included guaranteed hours, sick and holiday pay and a career structure.

I’m sure this resulted in less staff turnover and a more contented workforce who were able to respond promptly to the demands made upon them.

We now hear about discharge hotels run for profit.

I doubt they will provide the rehabilitation needed to ensure people do not deteriorate before discharge to nursing homes or their own homes as it will just be another money making exercise for this government’s pals.

GILLIAN KENNEDY Wilton Close, Christchurch