Mental health discharge

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh created a report based on the results of a survey they carried out amongst people that had been discharged following their admission to a mental health service in the area. 22 people completed the survey, which was distributed electronically via the Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh mailing list and social media and paper surveys were filled out at meetings with local groups, including a women's group and a mental health support group. Key findings included the general feedback that people felt they were discharged too early, there was not enough discussion with patients prior to discharge, discharge planning was poor and people were not well supported with a care plan or appropriate follow-up. Also, people who had been recently discharged relied heavily on their community networks, mental health support groups and their friends and family. This was only possible because many have had a condition for some time and so had networks and were already aware of services. The report concluded that the survey showed a large proportion of patients felt their discharge from services was untimely and poorly planned. Post discharge experiences showed a high number of incidents of harm and high levels of use of accident emergency and crisis services in the first week post discharge. Two recommendations were made in the report: 1. That a full sampling study should be commissioned to study the discharge experiences of a cohort of mental patients in near real time. Such a study should take account of patient’s self-reported views of the discharge planning decisions and process as well as their post discharge health status and patterns of service usage. 2. This report (and the results of any sampling study) should be considered by the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Wigan Safeguarding Boards in order to ensure that all relevant parties are focused on improving the situation.

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General details

Report title 
Mental health discharge
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wigan
Date of publication 
Sunday, 1 December, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of treatment
Staff attitudes
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
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

Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Mental health recovery service
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
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? 
Does the information include other people'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? 
Not known

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.