Hospital discharge in Gloucestershire: local people’s experiences

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Gloucestershire conducted an online survey from 23rd Feb to 23rd April to gather experiences of hospital discharge and transition between services. Gloucestershire’s NHS trusts were closely involved to make sure the right questions were asked. Alongside the survey, respondents had the option to have a telephone conversation.

11 people completed the survey: 2 patients and 9 carers or family members of patients. Ten patients had been discharged within the last 12 months, and one in the last 24. Seven were discharged since the beginning of 2021. Additionally, Healthwatch Gloucestershire spoke to one person whose father had been discharged from hospital.

  • Overall care for patients in hospital was good
  • Patients were often unsure about when and how their discharge would be happening
  • Carers and relatives were mostly not involved in the discharge process.  This meant they were not always prepared enough to take good care of the patient after leaving hospital
  • Transport  arrangements  for  a  significant  number  of  people  were  unsatisfactory  or  overlooked the needs of the patient.
  • Arrangements  for  patients’  needs  after  discharge  were  variable;  problems  arose  with  medication and equipment.
  • Most people felt that they did not have enough information about the ongoing care that would be needed, including how to manage while other services were put in place.
  • Most people were not kept informed about referrals to other services, though some were provided with relevant contact details.
  • People experienced variable waiting times for other services.
  • Accessing  Continuing  Healthcare  funding  is  challenging  and  disjointed  for  the  patient  and their carers and relatives.

Recommendations as follows.


  • Ensure that carers are involved in the discharge planning process.
  • Keep patients informed about their discharge and any delays to this.
  • Plan transport home that is appropriate for patients’ needs.
  • Ensure patients’ needs after discharge are fully met.
  • Provide patients and carers/relatives with sufficient information about their ongoing care, including how to manage their health while waiting for referrals to other services.
  • Ensure patients are provided with contact information for receiving a referral service.
  • Manage patients’ expectations in relation to waiting times for other services.
  • Provide patients and their carers/relatives with information about Continuing Healthcare funding and how to access this.


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General details

Report title 
Hospital discharge in Gloucestershire: local people’s experiences
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Friday, 9 July, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 23 February, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 23 April, 2021
Key themes 
Continuity of care
Integration of services
Quality of patient transport

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
General surgery
Other services 
Patient transport

Details of people who shared their views

Age group 
25-64 years
Specific ethnicity if known 
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
Sexual orientation 
Prefer not to say
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? 
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? 
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.