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Improved Patient Experience New Patient Discharge Charter Launched

Newsdate: 15 May 2012

Patients discharged from any of the three hospitals, within Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) will have an improved patient experience, with the launch of a new patient discharge charter.  The charter has been launched, this week as part of National Nurses Day and sets out a standard of best practice that all patients deserve to expect from their healthcare team.

WWL recognises that patients can be a little anxious and it can be quite a worrying time when they are discharged from hospital.  So we set up a discharge improvement group to look at ways to improve this part of the patient experience. The group have been working in collaboration with patients, carers, governors, community groups, nurses, doctors and others from health and social care, in developing the charter.

Pauline Law, Acting Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Services says:

David Edwardson with Astley Ward Sister Andrea Mills

“The patient discharge charter will ensure that all our patients are discharged safely and effectively. It is part of the continuous work we are doing to ensure that our patients have the best possible experience whilst in our care”.

The charter sets out the standards of service and care that patients can expect to receive when being discharged from our hospitals. The standards are:

  • We will liaise with you, to arrange your transport
  • We will expect you or your family/carer to provide adequate clothing for your discharge
  • We will keep you and your family/carers up to date with your expected date of discharge
  • We will ensure that you and, with your permission, your family/carers are informed and involved in the planning of your care
  • We will provide you or your family/ carer with information concerning rest, diet, medication, and follow-up appointments
  • We will not discharge you without your medication, unless otherwise agreed with you
  • We will provide you or your family/ carer with a contact telephone number in case of medical difficulties
  • We will ensure that we send discharge information to your GP within 24 hours of you leaving hospital
  • We will not discharge you after 8pm, unless otherwise agreed with you
  • We will work with our health and social care partners to ensure that planned discharge/transfer requirements are supported and equipment needs are met

Lead Governor Tom Frost, and Governor Gordon Jackson, Deputy Chair of the Discharge Improvement Group were both involved in the development of the charter and jointly stated: “This could be the end of the beginning – there will be much work to ensure that all the commitments are met.  However, it has been invigorating to work with colleagues including the medical specialists, all of whom have been fully committed to making sure we give our patients the best possible service.  The charter will continue to be a work in progress and will be revised over time, based on feedback from all interested parties”.