Discharge delays can create problems for hospitals, such as a lack of beds for incoming patients, and cause issues for older patients in particular. Conversely, discharging people too early or without the correct support in place can lead to them being readmitted to hospital. We heard directly from patients about their experiences and views of the discharge process.
Over a three week period in November/December 2016 we spoke with 89 people in hospital on the day they were being discharged. Some were waiting to be discharged from the discharge lounge and others directly from one of the hospital wards. Nearly half of the patients we spoke to were aged 75 or older. We were able to speak to nine of these patients again to find out more about their post-hospital experiences.
All the people who talked to us about their post-discharge period were generally happy with the support and advice they had received, however, some did not know what to expect, lacked information or felt under-supported.
In general, the patients we spoke with were very aware of how busy the local hospitals were and appreciative of the care and support received. However, the experiences of patients did highlight some areas for improvement or review.