We’ve now received the report findings and recommendations for “Let’s get you home”, the research project that Healthwatch Brighton & Hove undertook last year to look at experiences of older people being discharged from the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Healthwatch sought the views of older people (65 years and older) about their experience of hospital discharge. The project collected patient experience from 80 people at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in 2018. Healthwatch volunteers interviewed people in hospital and again post-discharge in their home or other residence
Experience in hospital
- High quality of care in hospital: Healthwatch found that 86%of patients spoken to, felt that overall staff had treated them well while in hospital. When asked in hospital, the majority of patients spoken to (71%) were happy with the arrangements being made for leaving hospital.
- Inconsistent Information provided to patients: Almost half the people we visited in hospital (44%) had not been spoken to about what would happen to them after leaving hospital. Two thirds of people (66%) had not received any written information at the time we spoke to them.
- Lack of personalised care: The majority of all people felt they were not involved or only partly in decisions (59%) about their care. Over half of these patients (53%) felt they had not been asked for their opinion.
- Lengthy stays in hospital: 58% of the people we interviewed in hospital had been admitted for more than six days. 16% of these people had been admitted for over 20 days.
Experience at home
- General satisfaction with discharge arrangements at home: 70%of all patients reported that overall, they were satisfied or very satisfied with the discharge arrangements made for them at home.
- Lack of preparation for returning home: Once home, 39% of all patientsfelt the advice they had received while in hospital was not good enough to prepare them for being at home. 44% of all patients felt they were either not ready or only partly ready to return home.
- The importance of involving a patient’s support network in the discharge process: Half of patients (52%) spoken to at home mentioned the importance of the support of family and/or friends in their discharge experience.
Recommendations being undertaken by the Royal Sussex:
- Improved communication: Discharge planning to start within 24 hours after admission; written and verbal communication with every patient, consistent use of one document covering all patient advice.
- Patient involvement: All patients (and/or family members) to be involved in decisions and being made aware of any choices.
- Better preparation for independent living post discharge: All patients to receive advice on nutrition and hydration and accessing community groups.
- Better follow-up arrangements: Every patient to be provided with advice on who to contact should a problem arise and to be provided with a suitable support structure at home. This will also be included in the new Discharge Info leaflet.
If you would like more information on Healthwatch or would like to share your experiences of health and social care Services for Brighton call 01273 234040, for East Sussex call 0333 101 4007, for West Sussex call 0300 012 0122.