We have produced this briefing which sets out some of the guidance and standards about discharge from hospital and looks at whether this is happening in practice. The results are based on Mind’s own 2017 survey into the experiences of leaving hospital of 1,221 people. NICE guidance, for example, says that hospital should start discharge planning as early as possible, preferably on admission, and to do so collaboratively. However, 31% of survey respondents were not involved in their care planning and 23% were unaware of any plan.
Again, NICE guidance says to give 48 hours’ notice of discharge whereas a third of respondents received less than that and one in five was given no notice at all. These are just 2 examples of NICE guidelines not being followed and putting recovery at risk and possibly leading to further crises, readmissions and even suicide.
The briefing does, however, give examples of some NHS mental health trusts delivering some outstanding patient-centred care around discharge showing what can be done even in the context of the huge pressure that NHS and local authority mental health services are operating under. Mind is calling on every crisis care concordat partnership, CCG and mental health trust to review discharge practice and provision and ensure that everyone leaving hospital gets the right care and support.