Hospital Discharge and Community Support Guidance March 2022
On 31st March 2022 Government released an update to the Hospital Discharge and Community Support Guidance. This is in response to the changing funding model for Discharge to Assess which sees that funding end. Local Authorities, CCG’s and partners now have to decide how they will approach discharges post April 2022.
The New Approach
This opening paragraph of this guidance sets out the change in direction from Government regarding the discharge process.
From 1 April 2022, local areas should adopt discharge processes that best meet the
needs of the local population. This could include the Discharge to Assess, Home First
approach. Systems should work together across health and social care to jointly plan,
commission, and deliver discharge services that are affordable within existing budgets
available to NHS commissioners and local authorities, pooling resources where
From this we can see that Local Authorities are no longer mandated to follow Discharge to Assess. However, this is very much the favoured model.
To read the full Guidance you can follow the link below:
Best Practice Approach
The best practice approach in the guidance is described as follows:
To implement best practice, NHS bodies and local authorities should work together to:
- determine what an individual needs and wants after discharge, if anything, so that they
are discharged onto the pathway that best meets their needs
- appropriately refer qualifying individuals to Independent Advocacy services on
admission, so their voice is heard during the discharge planning process
- plan, commission and deliver appropriate care and support that meets population
needs and is affordable within existing budgets available to NHS commissioners and
- understand the quality, cost and effectiveness of local treatment, care, and support to
inform people of their options
- understand the role each organisation has in safeguarding and put appropriate
safeguarding policies and procedures in place
- take joint responsibility for the individual’s and unpaid carer’s, including young carer’s,
welfare when making decisions about discharge and post-discharge support
- transfer people seamlessly and safely from hospital to their own home or new care
setting with joined up care, via clear, evidence-based and accurate assessments that
fully represent the medical and psychological needs and social preferences of the
- transfer information between settings in a timely way
- identify any carers, including young carers, and determine whether any carer is willing
and able to provide care and, if so, what support they might need (including through
use of young carers’ needs assessments)
What do we know from the Industry?
Tech in Care and CC2i regularly hold workshops which bring together professionals from across the health and adult social care sector. In our most recent session we discussed the changing model for discharges. Whilst there are unknowns with the future landscape, what is clear is that the Home First, Discharge to Asses model is the favoured as the following graphic suggests.
The challenge will come from the ways on which the model can be funded and resourced to effectively apply the model. The commitment and passion from professionals in the sector however, for a better way of working, for safer discharges and for more effective ways of working remains as strong as ever.
How can H2H Help?
The role of Hospital to Home in improving your discharge to assess processes has never been more crucial. Having a single source of truth over your discharges underpinned by effective reporting facilitates working to the best practice.
Hospital to Home allows every organisation, team and individual who is involved in a discharge to record the activity they are performing. Crucially, unlike current processes with fractured systems and spreadsheets, this activity is all in one place which all can access. Hospital to Home allows you to take control of your D2A processes which is vital for safeguarding and will be the catalyst for your process change.
With such pressures on resources and funding, finding more efficient ways of working and unlocking funding that is being unnecessarily spent is paramount. Hospital to Home can unlock administration savings which allows your professionals to focus on delivering the highest standards of care, and not on managing spreadsheets, emails and phone calls. By saving you bed nights, and facilitating faster discharges with less delays, you will see a huge return on investment. These savings will be vital to your capacity management in the future.
To find out more about Hospital to Home please do contact us. We will work with you to improve your D2A processes and unlock those vital savings.