Hospital discharge - are you hearing what we're hearing?

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Summary of report content

This report is an analysis of experiences people have shared with Healthwatch Surrey about being discharged from hospital and covers Spring 2018 to Spring 2020.  

We regularly share clusters of experiences and escalate individual cases of concern to our partners in acute trusts.  The aim of this report was twofold:  we wanted to take a broader and more strategic view of issues relating to hospital discharge, and to triangulate this information with the feedback local providers receive.

We undertook a thematic qualitative analysis of 150 positive or negative experiences relating specifically to discharge from hospital.  Most of the issues we heard about fell under one of three broad topics:

1.  Nearly half the people we heard from shared stories related to the clinical security, quality and safety of the discharge. These ranged from readmittance within days of discharge, leaving hospital with inadequate information, through to not feeling ready to leave hospital.

2.  Around three in ten issues concerned the discharge process – timing, organization, communication – and were primarily about lack of clarity and unexpected delays on the day of discharge.

3.  Around two in ten stories related to arrangements made in hospital for social care following discharge. These include experiences of discharge without assessment and poor support to find residential care.  




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General details

Report title 
Hospital discharge - are you hearing what we're hearing?
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Surrey
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 April, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 28 February, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Not known

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
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? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not applicable
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? 

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.