Summary of report content
Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire developed an online and paper survey to gain feedback from patients, service users and their families about experiences of hospital discharge during the pandemic. This included adults, young people and new mothers.
The survey, conducted between 29th March and 28th May 2021, asked 23 questions in total including 3 questions relating to demographic characteristics. In total, 166 responses were received, and 74 comments were recorded.
The questions related to the information provided to patients whilst in hospital, in particular their discharge arrangements, such as where they would be discharged to, including information about follow-up care and the support they may have required. Questions were also asked about a receiving a Covid-19 test before or after discharge from hospital, and the provision of care plans after being discharged.
There were some positive experiences of hospital discharge, with a third of respondents indicating they did not feel they were discharged too soon, but the survey found many negative comments relating to the discharge process itself. Of the 166 responses nearly half were ‘satisfied’ and ‘very satisfied’ with the discharge process, although 25% only had a neutral opinion and nearly a third were either ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with the process. 40% of respondents indicated they were not issued with a care plan upon discharge.
The report makes 5 recommendations
- Communication between services and the provision of understandable, quality information to patients, carers and family would improve experiences of discharge.
- Review training needs for all staff involved in the discharge process in order to sustain a consistent approach to hospital discharge, and to ensure that support is put in place prior to discharge for all patients
- ensure that information is readily available to all patients and their carers to explain how they can raise concerns about the discharge process, available in accessible formats.
- An urgent review of medication prescribing processes, so that medication is readily available on the planned day of discharge
- Ensure a consistent and quality service is provided to all residents of Central Bedfordshire