§ Mr. McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's policy in respect of the extent to which a nurse manager in charge of a ward should be able to override a consultant's decision to discharge a patient.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
Guidance was issued by the Department, in health circular HC(89)5, a copy of which is available in the Library. It makes it clear that no patient should be discharged from hospital without the authority of the doctor holding responsibility for that patient, unless there are clearly agreed protocols for this authority to be delegated.