Summary of report content
To understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the new discharge model on patients, Healthwatch Hackney undertook a survey of patients who were discharged from the Homerton Hospital between January-November 2020. They engaged with 51 patients, family members and carers, about their experience of discharge.
The key findings include:
- Patients and carers who were provided with information explaining the new procedures due to COVID-19, had a positive experience.
- For the majority of patients, discharge from hospital did not impact their recovery.
- More than one in three respondents (36%) did not receive contact details of a health professional to get in touch with if they required further support after leaving hospital - this was despite the national policy stating this would happen.
- Over half (52%) did not receive a follow-up visit from community services and nearly one in five patients (18%) felt they had unmet needs.
- More than half (58%) had not received any information about the new discharge process due to COVID-19 - both patients and carers encountered difficulties with updates.
- Half of the patients (50%) did not receive a COVID-19 test before discharge.
The report provides three recommendations to ensure a better discharge experience for patients and carers. This includes better communication about the discharge process, provide enough time gap for patients to arrange transportation, and ensure transportation arrangements fit people’s needs.