Listening to patients and families is essential for improving discharge from hospital
05 October 2017
- Healthwatch England publishes new briefing on improving the discharge process for patients
- It found that patients still don’t feel involved in decisions or feel they have the support or services they need after leaving hospital
- We say patients and their families need to be front and centre of decisions about their care when they leave hospital
Healthwatch England has published a new briefing – ‘What happens when people leave hospital and other care settings?’ – which outlines steps that have been made towards improving the discharge process for patients.
- People still don’t feel involved in decisions
- People continue to experience delays and a lack of co-ordination
- People feel left without the services and support they need after leaving hospital
The briefing suggests a number of steps that could be taken by NHS and care organisations to improve people’s experiences of leaving hospital.
The director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
“We welcome this timely report from Healthwatch which shows that health and social care partners can learn much from patients and families’ feedback to improve their planning and processes for discharge from hospital.
“Poorly planned discharges cause distress and risk harm to patients and create significant pressure on hospitals and their staff.
“Despite progress, Healthwatch’s research has found that many people still report a poor experience when it comes to leaving hospital.
When trusts work with patients to manage their discharge this improves safety, leads to a better experience, and reduces the risk of readmission.
“We know that delayed discharges affect the whole health and care system. Better communication and coordination between health services and local authorities can lead to rapid improvements. Patients and their families also need to be front and centre of decisions about their care when they leave hospital. When trusts work with patients to manage their discharge this improves safety, leads to a better experience, and reduces the risk of readmission.
“Helpfully, the report also highlights many examples where trusts and their local partners have used patient feedback to improve their discharge planning. We encourage all trusts to consider how they might learn from these examples to improve their own processes.”