Effective discharge from hospital: The role of communication of home circumstancesDownload (PDF 210KB)
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.