Hospital discharge during Covid-19

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Swindon analyse and report on responses from Swindon residents to the Healthwatch England hospital discharge survey. They heard from 46 people in Swindon, 10 of which were carers.

There were lots of examples of exemplary care delivered by staff at the local hospital, but in a small  number of cases, people felt that staff attitudes were poor.  Some people found that after care from services after they had been discharged could have been better.

All hospitals were issued with leaflets to give to patients when they were ready to leave, explaining why there were being discharged and what to expect. Half of the respondents told us that they did not receive this information.

The requirements during the pandemic set out that the transfer to the discharge area should be within one hour of the decision being made that a patient was fit for discharge and that they should be discharged as soon as possible after that, but usually within two hours

A third of respondents told us that they did not require additional support prior to leaving and all of these individuals were discharged in under two hours, irrespective of which day of the week this fell on. A small proportion of respondents did not feel ready to leave hospital. Just over 40% of respondents said that they were told they would receive support from health or social care services when they left and just over 60% said that they were told who to contact if they needed additional support once they left hospital.

The majority of people – 85% - were discharged back to their own homes again, which is always the preferred choice. Most people told us that they were not visited by a health care professional to assess their care needs.

At the time of responding to the survey a small proportion of people – 11% - had some support needs that they were not getting any help with.

Not all respondents were tested for COVID – nearly a quarter said that they were not. Of those that were, nearly three quarters of respondents, nine people did not receive their results.

The report includes lessons learnt and a response from the provider.

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General details

Report title 
Hospital discharge during Covid-19
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Swindon
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 10 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 22 June, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 August, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Inpatient care

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
New mothers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.