PERFORMANCE: The chair of Brent and Harrow’s Clinical Commissioning Board Dr Noreen Ryan claimed the acute provider had inappropriately discharged patients, in a meeting with the cluster.

Minutes of the board from April said: “Dr Ryan said various GPs in Harrow have been receiving discharge summaries for patients that are inappropriately discharged, some with unstable conditions, and GPs are asked to re-refer in a year.

Dr Gould explained that this becomes very difficult should a patient move address as the surgeries do not have systems available to do this.  Dr Ryan said that this method of discharge is highly contentious and is causing great concern amongst her GP colleagues.”

The £367m North West London Hospitals Trust achieved its £20.3m savings plan last financial year, but made half of the savings non-recurrently.

The trust told HSJ in April it intended to make a CIP of 5.6 per cent in 2011-12, but a report presented to the board said without a loan from the cluster or the strategic health authority: “The trust plan moves to a deficit and thus at this stage is not able to meet its statutory duty. Should the position improve later in the year then this may be recovered.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said the discharge situation had been resolved.

The trust said in a statement: “No patients will be discharged inappropriately. All GPs have received a letter explaining arrangements for patients for whom they feel additional follow up at the hospital is required.

“As part of the contract agreement, there has been constructive dialogue between acute and primary care clinicians regarding the shared care arrangements.

“These discussions began before the April 12 meeting and, as such, the comments now represent something of an anachronism two months later. We have had excellent clinical engagement and clinicians are now assured that the pathways between acute and primary care are safe and appropriate.”