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Healthwatch England publishes new report on leaving hospital and care settings

“Getting hospital discharge right would stop suffering and save millions of pounds” says Healthwatch England

Healthwatch England has launched a new report, ‘Safely Home: What happens when people leave hospitals and care settings?’, which brings together 3,230 stories gathered by 101 local Healthwatch from across the country, revealing the human and financial cost of getting the discharge process wrong.When discharge goes wrong, it comes at significant cost, both to individuals and to the health and social care system.

Whilst the financial cost of this problem is recognised, not enough is known about the human cost. Healthwatch England undertook this inquiry to bring the true emotional and physical impact of this persisting problem to light.

Throughout this inquiry, Healthwatch England focused on the experiences of older people, homeless people, and people with mental health conditions – three groups for whom the consequences of a failed discharge process were particularly detrimental. Hear about their experiences, as reported on Channel 4

Focusing on those most affected by poorly managed discharge processes – those with mental health conditions, older people and homeless people – the Healthwatch England report reveals five ways patients and care users say they are currently being let down by the system:

  1. People are experiencing unsafe, delayed or untimely discharge due to a lack of co-ordination between health, social care and community services.
  2. There is a lack of support available for people after discharge, often leading to readmission.
  3. Many people feel discriminated against or stigmatised during their care, often feeling ‘rushed out the door’.
  4. People do not feel involved in decisions about their ongoing care post discharge.
  5. Individuals’ full range of needs are not considered when being discharged from hospital or a mental health setting – including their housing situation, carer responsibilities etc.

Read more about this story on the Healthwatch England website here or download the report

Safely Home: What happens when people leave hospital and care settings

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