Think-tank exposes discharge failings

Health and social care services are failing to work together when patients are discharged from hospital, a report has found.

The annual hospital guide of think-tank Dr Foster finds the average length of patients’ wait for discharge from hospital varied greatly between NHS trusts.

The NHS would have saved 4.5bn in 2003-4 had all patients stayed no longer than the median stay for their age and condition.

Just 68 per cent of hospitals managed stroke patients jointly with community health services and social services, while less than two-thirds of stroke patients had an arrangement at discharge for physiotherapy in the community, it says.

Meanwhile, a service model to bring together health and social care has been outlined in a separate report by charity Turning Point.

The Connected Care model aims to integrate funding streams across health and social care, and help primary care trusts to work with housing and social services. The charity is piloting the model in Hartlepool.

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