15. Nov, 2015


 Your spotlight on health and social care services

In 2012 - 13 there were more than one million emergency readmissions within 30 days of discharge, costing an estimated £2.4 billion.

 Safely Home - What happens when people leave hospital and care settings?

 Posted on 21/07/15

 With the help of 101 local Healthwatch, we heard from over 3,000 people who shared their stories with us about their experiences of the discharge process.

We focused on the experiences of older people, homeless people, and people with mental health conditions – three groups for whom the consequences of a failed discharge process were particularly detrimental.

Find out more about our special inquiry into unsafe discharge. 

You can also download a large print version of this report.



The public’s experience of the discharge process : 

In a YouGov survey of 3,495 people across England:

 + 18% of people who have been discharged from hospital in the last three years did not feel they received all the social care support they required after leaving hospital. 

+ 1 in 4 (26%) people felt their friend/relative who had been discharged from hospital in the last three years did not receive the social care support they needed. 

+ 1 in 5 (21%) did not feel they were fully involved in decisions concerning hospital treatment and planning discharge, and the same proportion (22%) felt their friend/relative was not fully involved as an equal partner. 

+ 1 in 8 (12%) did not feel they were able to cope in their own home after being discharged from hospital. 1 in 4 (24%) did not feel their friend/ relative were able to cope.

+ 14% did not know who to contact for further help following treatment, 18% of people felt their friend/relative did not know who to contact.


 Mental Health:

The first three months after discharge are a time of particularly high suicide risk; this is especially true within the

first 1-2 weeks. Between 2002-12 there were 3,225 suicides in the UK by mental health patients in the post-discharge period, 18% of all patient suicides. Our analysis of NHS data from mental health hospitals suggests that one in five patients is still not being followed up with within seven days of a hospital discharge. It is vital that people are contacted after leaving services and that crisis support is available.


Have a look at the website at www.healthwatch.co.uk/ and you can locate your local Healthwatch .Alternatively you can phone or email:

Tel 03000 68 3000 or e-mail: enquiries@healthwatch.co.uk