As part of our research into unsafe discharge from hospital and care settings we conducted a Freedom of Information Request in May 2015 of 164 hospital trusts. We received 120 responses and found that:
- Fewer than half are routinely asking or recording in their checklists whether people have a home or safe place to be discharged to – including things like whether there is any food at home or if the heating works.
- 58 trusts (48%) did not make a note on discharge checklists to ask if a patient’s home environment was a suitable place for them to recuperate in.
- 64 (53%) did not ask if a patient had essential food, water and heating at home.
- 1 in 3 (43 trusts) do not include sections on ensuring notes about new medications are properly recorded and passed to GPs or carers.
- 1 in 10 (12 trusts) checklists are not making sure that a friend, relative or carer is notified every time someone is discharged.
We have used this information along with evidence gathered by 101 local Healthwatch and stories collected from over 3,000 people across England on their experiences of the discharge process, to create our report ‘Safely home: What happens when people leave hospitals and care settings?’.