NHS allows nurses to discharge hospital patients into the community

Senior nurses are being given autonomy to discharge patients
from hospital in a bid to cut waiting times, writes
Craig Kenny

New guidance from the Department of Health says that nurses should
take charge of “simple” discharges – 80 per cent
of the total – where people have simple on-going care needs
that can be in their own home or a community setting through
primary and social care services.

But older people’s charities stressed the need for discharge
arrangements to improve.

“If you are going to delegate this role you need proper
training and support so that people can fulfil it,” said
Martin Green, chief executive of Counsel and Care.

“Discharges are still being made around the need to
discharge, not the needs of patients. There remain serious issues
about ways in which local authorities are able to resource care,
and older people also need time to see that they are being
discharged to a place that’s appropriate.”

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