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New Initiative to Help Improve Communication around Discharge Planning

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s Integrated Discharge Team (IDT) have developed a new idea to improve communication for both patients and relatives regarding their discharge planning from the hospital.

The Trust’s aim is to start discharge planning on admission to hospital so that the patient gets a better experience at WWL.

To keep both patients and their families up to date with their discharge planning and expected date of discharge, green magnets have been implemented on wards that will be positioned on a board behind the patient’s bed.

Staff from the Integrated Discharge Team with the new discharge planning magnets

The idea is to keep the magnet updated so that it is visible to patients, doctors, nurses and family members so that they have a better understanding on who is their appointed co-ordinator and create a single point of access to discuss discharge planning whilst an inpatient at the hospital.

Directorate Manager of IDT, Chris Broadbent said; “The team at WWL, including our partners in the community, have been working on improving the safe flow of patients through the Wigan Infirmary site.

“This is especially important for our most vulnerable patients, who require that extra bit of care to be put in place before they can safely return home or to a place where their needs can be most appropriately addressed.”

Each ward at Wigan Infirmary has a dedicated discharge co-ordinator; you will be able to identify these members of staff by their vibrant green uniform. It is their job it is to update the magnet and keep lines of communication open with both patients and relatives.

“We have already seen an increase in improvement and performance with our patients,” said Christopher, “the more the lines of communication are kept open, the more they feel included and updated with their discharge plans from hospital.”

The IDT Hub, based at Wigan Infirmary, was implemented to bring together and co-locate several organisations in the borough to support discharge planning from hospital. The aim is to reduce the number of patients who have received medical treatment and are ready to be discharged.

The IDT are constantly developing new ways of working to ensure safe and effective discharge planning.