Effective discharge from hospital: The role of communication of home circumstances

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Coventry undertook research on hospital discharge as it had been a concern locally for some time.  They wanted to hear from  front-line voluntary sector workers about the issues they experience related to hospital discharge not working well for individuals and on the role that accurate communication of home circumstances plays in successful discharge.  They held a focus group in May 2016 and a series of follow up meetings.

The report finds that breakdowns in the system are regular, and the ward doesn’t appear to know much about the patient’s home environment unless it has been visited or staff ask the right questions.  Ward staff may not ask the right questions because of lack of time, patients keen to get home don’t always answer questions accurately and they may not be able to talk to relatives.  Other discharge issues include transport and patients coming home without medication.  As a result, patients are coming home without the right support package in place for them. However, there was evidence of a positive direction of travel in relation to inter-agency working to reduce these problems.

The research also established that it was vital to be able to follow up with the patient at home following the discharge.

The report contains key points from a meeting with UHCW Discharge and Therapy team managers to discuss the emerging findings from the research.

The report contains 5 recommendations to address the problems raised in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Effective discharge from hospital: The role of communication of home circumstances
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Coventry
Date of publication 
Friday, 17 February, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 May, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 1 January, 2017
Type of report 
Other
Local analysis
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Discharge
Integration of services
Healthwatch reference number 
HWREP-000738

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Observation
How was the information collected? 
Research

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Inpatient care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Negative

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
What type of impact was determined? 
Network related impact
Tangible Impact (cost related)

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.