Improving the experience of older people leaving hospital: Reducing delays, preventing readmission, improving quality

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Acute hospital activity has grown to record highs as bed capacity has shrunk. The United Kingdom has among the fewest hospital beds of OECD nations and hospitals run very ‘hot’ and close to capacity. Most admissions, bed days and delayed transfers of care involve older people. Older people and their families report distress at poorly planned and supported discharge and at avoidable prolonged hospitalisation.

Improving, supporting and speeding transition from hospital to home for older people, involving them more in their own discharge, can be a win–win situation – for them and for health and care systems. This practical workshop is aimed at those wanting to explore best practice in getting this right.

About this workshop 

This workshop was for clinicians and managers leading the delivery of acute hospital services for frail older people, as well as those in community health services, social care and the voluntary sector, who work closely with acute hospitals. It was also of interest to commissioners. Group size was limited to 35 to ensure good-quality, interactive discussions.

The one-day workshop focused on putting what we know works into practice and included contributions from experts and, most importantly, the space for attendees to develop their own thinking in collaboration with peers.

In addition to a session from David Oliver on ‘what good care looks like’ based on the paper, Making our health and care systems fit for an ageing population, other speakers included:

  • Jane Youde, consultant geriatrician, and Dan Boden, A&E consultant, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (discussing the Derby experience on improving discharge planning, patient flow and reducing bed occupancy)
  • David McCullough, Chief Executive, Royal Voluntary Service (discussing RVS home-from-hospital work)
  • Neil Tester, Director of Policy and Communications, Healthwatch England (author of a recent report on the experience of older people leaving hospital)

This workshop was part of a series on improving the experience for and care of older people.