Summary of report content
Healthwatch Havering conducted an Enter and View visit to the Queen's Hospital Discharge Lounge. The lounge is open from 7.30am until around 7.00pm; but the aim is to ensure that patients remain in it for as short a time as possible. There are 82 operational staff and a Health Care Assistant on duty. Healthwatch observed the Ground Floor lounge and the Level 2 Lounge.
The team felt that the lounge offered more than adequate space to provide a service which might need to accommodate as many as 30 patients at any one time; at the time of the visit, there were 6 people awaiting transport. The area was furnished with both upright chairs and armchairs for those patients who were not wheelchair users. However, only magazines were available to provide any way of passing the time; no TV was available, but there were some posters and pictures on the walls. Additionally, there were toilets (suitable for all needs), a store room, ambulance drivers’ sitting area and a kitchen where drinks could be prepared.
Healthwatch made the following recommendations: to consider requesting volunteers for the department to supplement the duties of the HCA, to consider acquiring a TV set, to ensure investigation is carried out into the reasons for the delays in obtaining medication, to take steps to discourage patients who don't need to make use of ambulance services from doing so, to ensure discharge procedures are communicated clearly to patients.