Right place, right time: better transfers of care - a call to action

Over four months in 2015, NHS Providers' Right place, right time commission captured evidence and good practice in transfers of care in all settings involving our members – across acute, community, mental health and ambulance services.

Led by the former care minister and chair of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the Rt Hon Paul Burstow, the commission’s report offers practical approaches, drawing on good practice in health, local government, social care and housing, and supports members and their partners to tackle the causes of delayed transfers of care in all settings. The report was formally launched at NHS Providers’ annual conference and exhibition at the ICC in Birmingham. We also published an evidence review which offers an analysis of the problem and potential solutions based on published literature and evidence the commission received.

Latest statistics highlighted in the report state that delayed transfer of care in August 2015 were caused by a range of complex challenges within the patient journey from health settings back into the community or social care.  Workforce capacity and skills mix, and flow within and between organisations are also key issues - the report makes a link with the Carter efficiency review, which states that improving work flow could save £2bn for the NHS.

The report gives evidence that delays in the discharge of mental health service users are also a key challenge. People in crisis or at suicide risk may face care in inappropriate settings or have to remain as an inpatient when there is no suitable housing or community support package in place.

The report includes a call to action, calling on providers, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards to test their assumptions about the causes of delayed transfers of care. National bodies are called on to consider what support they can offer to the sector in terms of definitions, analytical capacity and guidance. The sector is also urged to listen more, to patients, service users, carers and staff.

Click here to download a shorter, summary version of the commission's report.

Click here to download the evidence review.

Click the button below to download the full report.

The members of the commission are:

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