NHS doctors, nurses and other staff are being encouraged to ask themselves ‘Why not home? Why not today?’ when planning care for patients recovering from an operation or illness, as part of NHS England and NHS Improvement's campaign – called ‘Where Best Next?’ – which aims to see around 140,000 people every year spared a hospital stay of three weeks or more.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with a number of partners to identify five key principles which can help ensure that patients are discharged in a safe, appropriate and timely way.
The five principles relate to different stages of a patient’s stay: some to the moment of admission, some to their time on a ward and some to the end of their stay.
- Plan for discharge from the start
- Involve patients and their families in discharge decisions
- Establish systems and processes for frail people
- Embed multidisciplinary team reviews
- Encourage a supported ‘Home First’ approach
The 'Where Best Next?' website lists specific actions for each principle and provides links to useful resources.