Empowering patients when they leave hospital

Why is Hospital Discharge a priority for Healthwatch Surrey?

Hospital Discharge is a a priority because ‘Follow-up care and support’ has regularly been among the top three most common themes/topics over the last 12 months.

Not forgetting that Hospital discharge is a national issue – see Healthwatch England’s report ‘Safely Home’.

Also, during our work on Safe Havens we asked service users if they had been discharged from hospital with a care plan in place… A high number of the Safe Haven users had been discharged without a care plan.

What work have we been doing on hospital discharge?

  • We are currently looking at how information is communicated throughout the process of leaving hospital for over 65s and have a survey open for this group and/or their relatives/carers to find out what people expect from the discharge process, what information is needed, and whether these expectations and needs are fulfilled. We are entering people who respond into a prize draw for an opportunity to win one of five £20 Marks and Spencer vouchers. The survey will run until December 15th 2017. Click here to be taken to the survey.
  • Healthwatch Surrey contributed live and pre-recorded case studies to the recent launch event of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSSAHN) ‘Safe Discharge and Transfers’ project, to help participants reflect on the impact of poor discharge on patients, their families and carers. Healthwatch Surrey volunteer ‘Patient Leaders’ are also involved in the project.
  • We are in the early stages of developing a project with Epsom Hospital to look at how the new Epsom Community Assessment and Diagnostics Unit (CADU) (designed to reduce hospital admissions of elderly patients) and ‘accelerated discharge’ processes are working.

We will be publishing a summary report based on what we have learned so far about the experiences of local people being discharged from hospital. The content will include:

– Feedback gathered through a joint survey with Healthwatch WAM on hospital discharge from Frimley Health FT.

– Issues identified from our report to the Surrey Safeguarding Board on leaving hospital.

– Wider research/learning from ‘the system’.

During November-December 2016, local Healthwatch covering areas of the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust collaborated to find out more about people’s experiences of being discharged from hospital. A report has been compiled to summarise the results of this joint project, showing the views of the people we spoke to, and recommendations based on our findings. You can read the report here.

Since then, Frimley Health have given their formal response to the report. Please read their response here.

What can I do to help support the campaign?

  • Ask people to share their experiences of leaving a hospital setting and issues related to the provision of on-going care, following a hospital stay.
  • Ask people within the NHS/social care system (care professionals, commissioners) for their feedback about how they think the discharge process is working and what could be improved. Please contact us if you gather any information.

What will a successful campaign look like?

  • We will receive more experiences and views about hospital discharge during campaign period.
  • Positive feedback from stakeholders, commissioners and providers with interest in Hospital Discharge.
  • Media opportunities to promote our work on hospital discharge and to call for more evidence from local people.

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