Declaration of interest None.
Aims and method We undertook a cross-sectional service evaluation of the reasons and extent of delay in the discharge process in an intellectual disability hospital over a 12-month period. Delays at each stage of the discharge process are also quantified in this study.
Results We found that discharge was delayed for 29% of patients during the study period. The majority (78.5%) was due to awaiting completion of assessment of future care needs and waiting for public funding.
Clinical implications Commissioners (health and social), provider trusts, regulators and community providers should consider the reasons for delay in the discharge process and adopt a whole systems approach to discharge planning. This is highly relevant in light of recommendations by the Department of Health following the Winterbourne View scandal, which has raised concern about patients staying in intellectual disability in-patient units too long and for the wrong reasons.
- © 2013 The Royal College of Psychiatrists
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.