Mental health patients will come under the rules requiring
social care services to reimburse hospitals for the costs of
delayed discharges of older people.
The rules will initially only cover patients in acute and
general geriatric settings but could be expanded to cover patients
leaving community hospitals and intermediate care.
Housing services are likely to face similar penalties to social
services and primary care services if they are responsible for a
The plans, outlined in a Department of Health consultation
document published this week, are wider than those announced by the
government earlier this year.
“The legislation will be framed in such a way that regulations
can be used to gradually extend the reimbursement mechanism through
the whole system where this would be appropriate and beneficial to
do so,” the document says.
Reimbursements for the delayed discharge of older people are
likely to be set at £120 a day in London and the South East,
and £100 a day in the rest of the country. Independent dispute
resolution panels will be set up by strategic health authorities.
Hospitals will be required to notify social services and primary
care trusts as soon as it is apparent that a patient will require
care after discharge. A care discharge plan must then be prepared
within three days of notification.
The delay will be counted from the completion of the discharge
plan or the day after the patient is ready for transfer, whichever
Suitable short-term accommodation will need to be organised for
patients who require time to make a decision about their future or
to make practical arrangements.
– Implementing Reimbursement Around Discharge from Hospital from