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.