Case study about reducing delayed discharge from hospital

In this case study, we share what East Ayrshire Heath and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) did to reduce the total time patients spend delayed in hospital with no more need for hospital care, whilst also increasing the reliability of systems delivering safe, legal and person-centred discharge.

It describes improvement initiatives the partnership took, and aspects of leadership and organisational culture enabling this progress and continued commitment to improvement.

A HSCP is a hugely complex operation, as is the management of hospital discharge so that it ensures the right support, at the right time and in the right place for each person. A case study of this scale can only begin to scratch the surface of this complexity.

However, below we outline the initiatives thought to contribute most to getting people who no longer need hospital treatment, promptly, safely and legally home or to a homely environment. We then describe the enabling factors thought to be key, in particular the HSCP's person-centred ethos and strong leadership.

  • Improvement initiatives
  • Key enabling factors

We hope that other HSCPs in Scotland find this overview useful in further developing their own approaches to reducing both delayed discharge and the risks to patients from unnecessary time spent in hospital.

Read in more depth about the initiatives taken by East Ayrshire HSCP and the key findings.