Testing underway at St Thomas’ and King’s

Clinical staff looking at whiteboard

Testing is now underway to improve the hospital discharge process for elderly people on inpatient wards at St Thomas’ and King’s College hospitals.

Currently people are staying in hospital longer than they need to, sometimes because of a delay in assessments being completed, a lack of coordination around discharge planning and lack of clarity about staff roles.

Integrated Hospital Discharge Teams have been set up to help save bed days by reducing delayed transfers, using more efficient processes and improving relationships between health and social care professionals and with patients.

The ward-based teams, on Anne Ward at St Thomas’ and Donne Ward at King’s College Hospital, will lead a care management approach for people returning home or to a care home.

This approach aims to support professionals to work in a more collaborative manner during the discharge pathway, enabling them to take responsibility for discharge arrangements and be a point of contact for patients, families and carers.

The teams are made up of therapists, doctors, nurses, social workers, discharge coordinators and administrators.

This person-centred method hopes to allow hospital discharge to be made as one seamless, safe process through effective communication and information sharing. Each member of the team has clear roles and responsibilities, which prevents duplication of work.