Improvements needed to hospital discharge process, say Havering LINk

A pressure group is calling for changes to be made to the discharge system at Queen’s Hospital.

Havering LINk want to create a centralised service to help manage patients’ journeys in and out of the hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford.

Chairman of the hospital discharge group at Havering LINk, Cliff Reynolds, said: “The current system is good but there are just a few things that are letting the patients down.

“There are little things that can be done that will make life easier for the health professionals and deliver a better service.”

The call comes after the group published a report containing 32 recommendations about how to improve the provision of hospital discharge in Havering.

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One of the recommendations includes using independent volunteers who work with the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, St Francis Hospice and other agencies to ensure that the discharge process runs smoothly and patients get everything they need when they are released from the hospital.

Cliff said: “No one is doing anything wrong but it is just about having the different groups working together and to try to bridge the gap in the current system.”

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The report saw members of Havering LINk spending 18 months working with the hospital.

Other recommendations include not discharging elderly or vulnerable patinets after 6pm. patients and their families should be informed in good time when they will be discharged and prescribed drug forms should be completed on the ward, 24 hours before discharge.

Cliff said: “The process of discharge from a hospital can be a trying time.

“Patients may need extra support when leaving a hospital which can involve making changes in their homes for improved accessiblity and greater easer of physical movements as well as the practical support required due to the change in the person’s circumstances.”

Director of Nursing Deborah Wheeler said: “We worked closely with Havering LINk while they were preparing this report.

“They have high-lighted several areas which we are already working on, and have quite rightly pointed out that we need a joined-up approach to ensure that our patients get a smooth transfer from hospital.

“Primary and social care are also focusing on putting processes in place so that that we can improve patient’s care and send people back home, or into a care home, as soon as they are ready.”

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