Lord Carter visited a CHS Healthcare hospital discharge service at the Royal Surrey County Hospital to see the model he praised in his landmark review of the NHS.
The Royal Surrey County Hospital is one of 29 discharge services CHS Healthcare operates throughout England. Our service at the Royal Surrey County Hospital is for patients who are fit for discharge but are moving into 24-hour care or need a package of care in order to return to their own home. Lord Carter visited the hospital and saw how the service operates on November 1.
We provide focused support and advice for the patients and their families to help them choose a care home and co-ordinate all arrangements.
In his report, Operational Productivity and Performance in NHS Acute Hospitals: Unwarranted variations, Lord Carter urged hospitals to take “matters into their own hands” by commissioning models such as those run by CHS to reduce the rate of delayed discharges.
Lord Carter commented: “The national strategy should encourage trusts to do more of this to find rapid local solutions to the problem of delayed transfers.”
Dr Richard Newland, chief executive of CHS Healthcare, explained: “Since inclusion in this landmark report, I have been pleased to have the opportunity to meet Lord Carter several times as part of his ongoing work to drive forward and support transformation in the NHS.
“We were delighted to be able to show Lord Carter how our hospital discharge service works in practice; the multiple steps required to achieve a timely discharge when there are often complex needs and how we meet all the challenges.
“We would like to thank our partners at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, particularly chief executive Paula Head who also met Lord Carter. We are proud of our strong and effective partnerships with the NHS organisations who commission our services.”
Susan Adams, regional manager of CHS Healthcare for the south of England, showed Lord Carter how CHS operate a flexible working model, including evening and weekend working, to ensure key performance indicators are met. Patient and/or family is contacted on the same day as referral, care home is chosen within two days and transfer to the care home achieved within five days.
Mrs Adams commented: “This is one of our core services that we have been providing for 20 years. We typically reduce DTOC (delayed transfers of care) by five to ten days, depending upon previous performance and in so doing, save hospitals hundreds of thousands of pounds, as evidenced in Lord Carter’s report.”