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'Communicate, co-ordinate and collaborate' to improve patient discharge nurses told

QNI report published today makes recommendations in three key areas

Hospital and community nurses need to work together to ensure a seamless and consistent discharge of patients says a new report.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) today (March 24) published Discharge Planning: Best Practice in Transitions of Care after its survey in 2014 revealed 83% of district nurses rated communication with hospitals as ‘poor’.

Candice Pellett led the research team which was funded by the Department of Health.

In the report’s conclusion she outlines a number of recommendations and lists them in three key categories; communication, co-ordination and collaboration.

Under communication one recommendation is for an alert system so community nurses are informed by hospitals when a patient on their database is admitted.

Under co-ordination the report calls for discharges to happen ‘at a reasonable time (of day)’ and for appropriate staff to be in place to allow for weekend discharges.

There should also be a new IT system installed which can be accessed in hospitals, the community and by local authorities to allow everyone involved with a patient to share notes and information.

Ms Pellett said: ‘At a practitioner level, there needs to be willingness from nurses both in hospital and community to improve partnership working, to ensure that patients, carers and families experience a seamless service when discharged from hospital to home.

‘Nurses in every part of the NHS and care systems are at the heart of effective discharge planning and must continue to be the advocate for the patient in the pursuit of excellent practice in transfers of care.’

Read the full report here

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