Hospital to home: discharge to assess review

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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

  1. Communication between services and the provision of understandable, quality information to patients, carers and family would improve experiences of discharge.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. An urgent review of medication prescribing processes, so that medication is readily available on the planned day of discharge
  5. Ensure a consistent and quality service is provided to all residents of Central Bedfordshire

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General details

Report title 
Hospital to home: discharge to assess review
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 19 July, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 29 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 28 May, 2021
Key themes 
Continuity of care
Information providing
Quality of patient transport
Other information of note about this report 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
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 
Acute services with overnight beds
Discharge lounge
Inpatient care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Prefer not to say
Specific ethnicity if known 
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
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? 
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.