Collaboration: the key to unlocking patient flow

System wide collaboration across hospitals, social care, families and providers is essential to solving patient flow challenges. The brunt of patient flow issues are ultimately felt by patients. The backdoor needs to be flexible to pressure to avoid the cycle of spikes in winter flu or COVID-19, which will place further pressure on ambulance services. We estimate it currently takes 12 days to discharge a patient after they are medically optimised.*

*Based on CHS Healthcare Hospital Discharge Survey (May 2022)

There is a need to codify and systematically implement change across England to ensure consistency and drive improvement for the benefit of patients, carers, and families.

Sir David Sloman, Chief Operating Officer NHS England - Acute Hospital Discharge ‘100-Day Challenge’

We asked front line staff in hospitals and care homes about their experience of patient flow

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84%

of hospital staff say delays in discharge cause poor patient flow

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92%

say that engaging family early on makes for successful discharge

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49%

Of hospital staff said that admin and paper work causes delay in the discharge process

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51%

Of the time expected discharge date is changed because patients require additional support

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75%

Of care home staff said that better discharge planning prior to being medically optimised for discharge would benefit the patient

(Reference: CHS Healthcare Hospital Discharge Survey May 2022)

What these independent thought leaders had to say

We brought together leaders from across the entire system to focus on the patient flow challenge and to gain new perspectives on entrenched issues.

Our roundtable members:

  • Matt Currall, Managing Director, CHS Healthcare
  • Mike Bell, Chair of Croydon Health Services Trust
  • Lesley Watts, CEO at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Liz Bruce, Joint Executive Director, Adult Social Care & Integrated Commissioning, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands ICS
  • David Coyle, Interim COO, NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB
  • Berenice Groves, Deputy CEO and COO Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Key Outcome 1

Discharge delays are multifaceted and cannot be fixed without active collaboration between hospitals, social care, families and providers.

Key Outcome 2

To alleviate pressures across the system we need to adopt integrated system design and innovative care delivery models.

Key Outcome 3

Case management is key to tracking patient flow - data and technology can drive improvements.

Key Outcome 4

Families must be included from the outset when planning for discharge.

Listen to the experts:

Our roundtable discussion on patient flow

How do hospitals, community providers, social care and partners to the NHS work collaboratively to fix patient flow challenges?

Highlights from the roundtable discussion

Discharge is everybody’s business. It’s not just a section of the staff in the hospital or the discharge team in social care, it’s all our business. It can be challenging to take a whole system view and say to ourselves ‘where are the interventions that will make the greatest changes and what can we do together?’ It’s got to be done in collaboration and we all have to care about that patient journey.

Liz Bruce, Joint Executive Director, Adult Social Care & Integrated Commissioning, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands ICS

With unrelenting pressures felt across the system, accelerating patient flow is the immediate and glaring opportunity to protect patient outcomes and create sustainably in the NHS. Our new insight shines a light on the issues faced by hardworking health and social care staff, and the urgent need to re-engineer processes and drive greater co-ordinated collaboration, in order to create an integrated care system that truly meets the needs of patients.

Matt Currall, Managing Director at CHS Healthcare

We need to push ourselves to have a consistent approach tracking of patients, throughout their journey. Right from the moment a patient enters a hospital, we need to begin the process of planning discharge – including transport and care.

Berenice Groves, Deputy CEO and COO Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

An essential part of patient flow - hospital discharge

The brunt of patient flow issues are ultimately felt by patients. The backdoor needs to be flexible to pressure to avoid the cycle of spikes in winter flu or COVID-19, which will place further pressure on ambulance services. We estimate it currently takes 12 days to discharge a patient after they are medically optimised.**

Our roundtable highlighted the importance of working collaboratively. Find out how CHS can help you achieve this while saving costs and create a smoother process for those who matter most – the patients.

**Based on CHS Healthcare Hospital Discharge Survey (May 2022)

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Find out how many bed days could be saved

Use this tool to calculate how many bed days could be saved by ensuring timely discharge.

Simply input the number of patients in your hospital that no longer meet the criteria to reside and the average time from when patients are medically optimised to when they are discharged.

The calculator will tell you how many bed days could be saved as well as what cost saving that would result in based on CHS’s proven track record in time from referral to discharge and an average of £400 per bed day.

Please note this tool is to be used as a guide to estimate the bed days and cost savings that may be possible working with CHS. This tool does not guarantee bed days saved or cost savings.

*https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/577083/Reference_Costs_2015-16.pdf

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