NHS England introduces 100-day discharge challenge

NHS England has launched a ‘100-day discharge challenge’ to focus on opportunities to improve discharge process, with an aim to “release much-needed capacity within acute providers”.

A letter from Sir David Sloman, Chief Operating Officer at NHS England, to NHS trusts and integrated care boards, highlights that “there is still significant variation between hospitals and systems” and in response notes “a need to codify and systematically implement change across England”.

The National Health and Social Care Discharge Taskforce has identified ten best practice initiatives that it hopes will be adopted across the NHS, as part of the ‘100-day challenge’. These include:

  • Identify patients needing complex discharge support early
  • Ensure multidisciplinary engagement in early discharge plan
  • Set expected date of discharge (EDD), and discharge within 48 hours ofadmission
  • Ensuring consistency of process, personnel and documentation in ward rounds
  • Apply seven-day working to enable discharge of patients during weekends
  • Treat delayed discharge as a potential harm event
  • Streamline operation of transfer of care hubs
  • Develop demand/capacity modelling for local and community systems
  • Manage workforce capacity in community and social care settings to better match predicted patterns in demand for care and any surges
  • Revise intermediate care strategies to optimise recovery and rehabilitation.

To support the initiative, the letter asks “that all system and provider leadership teams ensure there is focused executive and clinical leadership from medical, nursing and allied health professional colleagues. There should also be consistent and appropriate oversight of discharge performance from trust boards and ICBs.”

The aim of the 100-day challenge is to improve the current position by 30 September 2022.

Following the 100-day challenge, a set of recommendations and next steps will be produced.

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