• One third of Devon patients are unhappy with discharge arrangements

    20th January 2016 | News | Claire
  • The survey of 300 Devon patients carried out by Healthwatch Devon took place in 2014, and was discussed at Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee today.

    The questionnaire asked:
    – How happy were people with the way that their discharge was arranged, and with any follow on support
    – What did or did not work for them at the time that they were being discharged and after they had left hospital
    – What improvements they thought could be made to the discharge process

    The findings were alarming:  It found:

    – One third of people were “not very happy” or not at all happy”
    – One in three respondents complained of medication delays, waits for transport home, delays in care assessments either before or after discharge – and delays in setting up care at home
    – One in three people spoke negatively about the quality of care they had received after leaving hospital
    – Over a quarter of respondents were concerned that health and care professionals did not communicate well with one another. And a fifth commented on a lack of information being provided to the patient and/or their carer.

    Both Cllr Brian Greenslade and I were concerned about this and I proposed that the committee look more closely at discharge arrangements at a meeting later this year. Chairman, Cllr Richard Westlake agreed that the findings were worrying and that the scrutiny committee should examine the issue further at a meeting later this year.

    During our scrutiny investigations we have heard frequently, the problems relating to hospital discharge. There aren’t enough carers available to recruit, there are NHS staff shortages, care homes are closing, both the NHS and Devon County Council have reduced the amount they pay nursing homes for care because of budget pressures and many people end up being stuck in hospital because there is no ability to transfer them home or elsewhere.

    The chief executive of the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Angela Pedder, previously told the committee that on that particular day, 60 patients were ready to leave but could not be transferred due to a lack of/delay in arranging care packages.

    Meanwhile community hospital beds continue to close….

    Here’s the webcast – it is item 11. The speakers are itemised.