The hospital discharge survey

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch WAM and collaborating local Healthwatch from other areas carried out a survey in hospital discharge practise to identify: Whether patients experience delays in their discharge from hospital, whether patients feel involved in the decisions made about their discharge, whether patients feel that their discharge plan is tailored to their needs, whether patients are receiving the services that they need following their discharge, and whether patients feel that their discharge from hospital could be improved. The following key findings were found: The majority of respondents reported that they felt involved in decisions about their discharge and that a discharge plan was made with them and/or their family The majority of respondents felt that their discharge plan generally met their needs. However, a minority said that hospital staff did not discuss with them whether they needed any further health or social care services after leaving hospital. 61% of respondents reported that their discharge was delayed, most commonly waiting for medication. Most commonly, respondents reported that the delay was between 2 and 4 hours’. The majority of respondents reported that they felt that they were treated with dignity and respect during their stay in hospital, and that a member of staff explained the purpose of the medicines they were taking home in a way that they could understand. However, many respondents reported that they had to repeat their medical history several times. • 15.5% of respondents reported that when they left hospital, they did not know what would happen next with their care. 22.4% of respondents who required further services following their discharge said that they did not get the planned services. Of the respondents who did receive planned services, about half said they were satisfactory, but about half said that they needed ongoing support but that this was not happening. Based on the key findings the following recommendations have been made: • Hospitals should consider reviewing their methods of record keeping to prevent patients from having to repeat their medical history to hospital staff. • Hospitals should consider reviewing the way in which they are providing medicine to patients upon discharge, with the aim of discharging patients in a more timely fashion. • Hospital staff should discuss with all patients, as appropriate, the need for health and social care services after leaving hospital. • Hospital staff should communicate to all patients their care plan, including any services that they may expect to receive and any services that may not be provided, and ensure that this information has been understood.

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General details

Report title 
The hospital discharge survey
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Surrey
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 June, 2017
Type of report 
Patient experience
Key themes 
Integration of services
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Other information of note about this report 
Good Practice
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
The project was led by Healthwatch Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead in close collaboration with Healthwatch Buckinghamshire, Slough, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Hampshire and Surrey.
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 
Discharge lounge
Inpatient care
Social care services 
After care
Community services 
Continuing care

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Not known

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not known
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.