In a trial of 360 patients with hernia or varicose veins, day care surgery provided an economic alternative to the provision of surgical aftercare either in the surgical wards of a district hospital or in a convalescent hospital. There was only slightly more work for general practitioners. Most of the additional work for the community services was carried out by district nurses, with an average contact time in the postoperative period of 325 minutes for day care patients, compared with 186 minutes and 204 minutes respectively for patients admitted for 48 hours to the surgical or convalescent wards. Day care produced estimated savings of 30 pounds compared with the costs of a 48-hour stay in the surgical wards, and savings of 22 pounds compared with a 48-hour stay in the convalescent wards.
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