Healthwatch England and Red Cross - Peoples experiences of leaving hospital during COVID-19 - October 2020

This report from Healthwatch England and The Red Cross focuses on the discharge process between March and August and shines a light on people’s experiences of getting home from hospital.
Graphic of magnifying glass

As the NHS and social care sector battled the initial peak of the coronavirus, a major focus for the media, politicians, and healthcare managers was on the people entering hospital and how to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Right at the beginning of the pandemic, new guidance was issued to help hospitals free up 15,000 beds to cope with the demand from COVID-19 cases. It sought to implement a nationwide roll-out of the ‘Discharge to Assess’ model, where people are helped to leave hospital faster by having their ongoing care needs assessed at home. Our research looks at what worked and what could be improved. Crucially, it also sets out several changes that need to be made now as we enter the busy winter period and the country tackles the growing pressures of a second wave.

This report is about the other end of the hospital journey. It focuses on the discharge process between March and August and shines a light on people’s experiences of getting home from hospital.

We heard from almost 600 patients, carers and staff about their experience of hospital discharge during the coronavirus pandemic.

Key Findings

  • 19% felt they were not ready to leave hospital
  • 82% didn't receive a follow up visit
  • 61% didn't receive information about the new discharge process during their hospital stay
  • 64% of people discharged at night weren't asked if they needed patient transport
  • 30£ of people who were tested for COVID-19 didn't receive their test results before they left hospital

Downloads

You can download the full report below.

Healthwatch England and Red Cross - Peoples experiences of leaving hospital during COVID-19

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