WGPlus (Archive)

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We have ‘known’ about the problem for decades, but little ever seems to be achieved

A Public Accounts Committee report challenges the Government to address the scale & cost of delays in discharging older patients from hospital.  The Committee's report urges new measures to tackle discharge delays, which are bad for both patients' health and the financial sustainability of the NHS & local government.

The Committee finds there is a poor understanding of the scale of discharge problems, with official data substantially under-estimating the range of delays and the number of older patients affected.

There is unacceptable variation in local performance on discharging such patients, says the Committee, finding that while good discharge practice is well understood, "implementation is patchy across local areas".  It concludes poor sharing of patient information is a significant barrier to improving performance, while "the fragility of the adult social care provider market" exacerbates discharge difficulties.

While it recognises there is pressure on funding, the Committee does not accept this necessarily blocks efforts to make further improvements and urges a greater commitment to step up the pace of change.  It concludes: "NHS England shows a striking poverty of ambition in believing that holding delays to the current inflated level would be a satisfactory achievement."

Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Government shows 'striking poverty of ambition' on discharge delays

NAO:  Discharging older patients from hospital

NICE guidance can reduce delays in hospital discharge raised by critical report

LGA:  Councils respond to report on delayed discharges

The King's Fund response to the PAC report on discharging older people from hospitals

This is NOT just a case of inadequate resources

New ways to meet health challenges: apply for business contracts

NICE guidance addresses the need for safe & appropriate discharge from hospital

Nearly 2m patients to receive person-centred support to manage their own care

37 areas to lead rollout of tool to deliver person-centred care

Something for IPSIS to start with!

New Quick Guide supports patients’ choices

Treatment closer to home thanks to extra £1.2m every year

NICE:  Make a single person responsible for discharging patients to avoid delays

‘After Care’ is as important as treatment in hospital

The issue gets more urgent (& costly) every year

If NHS needs +£8bn, what do LA’s need for social care?

We won’t be able to afford the NHS unless we ‘solve’ this problem

Longer independent living is vital for the NHS funding ‘crisis

Consultation: Professional Record Standards Body e-Discharge Summary