Carers' experience of hospital discharge Summer 2021

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Surrey and Action for Cares undertook a project to investigate the experience of Discharge to Assess from the perspective of Carers of those admitted to hospital. They undertook a survey in Spring 2021to which 78 people responded and undertook 12 interviews. 

Even at the height of the pandemic it was possible for discharge to be collaborative, safe and enabling. The sub sample of identifiable Discharge to Assess respondents is small but 5 of the 6 do seem to have received timely follow up assessments.

Poor communication from staff to carers at all stages of the journey is a substantial barrier to achieving good discharges.  Carers are at a serious disadvantage. They are often unaware of assessment processes, how decisions are made, who has responsibility for what actions. They cannot contribute to discharge, and cannot quality check the discharge. These weaknesses can result in actual patient harm.

There were 4 recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Carers' experience of hospital discharge Summer 2021
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Surrey
Date of publication 
Thursday, 28 October, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 May, 2021
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Action for Carers
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Discharge lounge
Inpatient care
Social care services 
Home care / domiciliary care
Residential care home

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.