Healthwatch England have published a briefing which looks at what happens when people leave hospital and other care settings? It looks at at what 46 local Healthwatch have heard from people during the last two years including Healthwatch Coventry.
The three main issues identified were:
- People still don’t feel involved in decisions. We heard that people often aren’t given the information they need, such as about their medication or where to go for help out of hours.
- People continue to experience delays and a lack of co-ordination between services. Many people had to stay in hospital longer than necessary because of long waits for medication and transport, and because care homes or family members were not notified that they were about to be discharged.
- People feel left without the support they need after leaving hospital. People told Healthwatch about leaving care without adequate care plans or ongoing support in place, which in some cases led to re-admissions.
Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England, said:
“Getting people out of hospital and safely home is not about a single point in time. It is an ongoing process that requires thought, planning and support before, during and after the moment someone is actually discharged. Things work best when staff in all services work together to provide a seamless experience. Whilst we heard plenty of positive stories from people moving between hospitals, care homes and their own homes, the number of people stuck in hospital waiting to leave has increased significantly. From what people tell us, it is clear many of the common problems around communication and coordination are still ongoing. Healthwatch will continue to play our part, working with hospitals, community services and the public to improve people’s experiences.”