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24
Mar

Discharge home today


The government has published new guidance and requirements for hospitals to speed up patient discharge and avoid bed blocking during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The target for acute facilities is to transfer the patient off the ward into a discharge lounge within one hour of decision to discharge, and for discharge from hospital to happen as soon as possible after that – normally within two hours. For 95% of patients this will mean return to their own home, with the remaining 5% needing a bed in a rehabilitation centre or care home.

 

The government believes this will free-up at least 15,000 beds by this Friday (March 27). It will also mean more staff have the capacity to treat patients needing urgent care.

 

The guidance states: “Discharge requires teamwork across many people and organisations and the funding and eligibility blockages that currently exist cannot remain in place during the Covid-19 emergency period. Therefore, a discharge to assess model will be introduced across England.”

 

The full information may be downloaded here.

 

As part of Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s £5 billion Covid-19 fund announced in the budget, £1.3 billion is to be used to enhance the NHS discharge process, with a further £1.6 billion for local authorities to help them respond to Covid-19 pressures across all services, including increasing support for the adult social care workforce to ensure the increased demand for social care can be met and the most vulnerable people in society protected.

 

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock says: “This funding will help the NHS and social care services in our communities to rise to this once in a generation challenge by allowing the NHS to do what it needs to and help move people out of hospital as soon as possible to get them back home with the right support.” 

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