House of Commons Health Committee. Written evidence from NHS Confederation (PEX 19). 2013. (accessed 20 August 2020)

King's Fund. How is the health and social care system performing?: quarterly monitoring report. September 2013. 2013. (accessed 20 August 2020)

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Vulnerable patients and their families suffering harrowing ordeals due to poor hospital discharge. (accessed 20 August 2020)

Patients transferring from hospital care

02 October 2020
Volume 25 · Issue 10

Media attention has lately focused on the ongoing scandal of the Department of Health and Social Care's (DHSC) lack of attention to preventing the spread of coronavirus among residents of care homes. There has even been evidence of NHS hospitals attempting to pressure homes into accepting patients formerly in hospital, sometimes without testing for the presence or absence of the virus.

A related problem that has been about for much longer than COVID-19 is that of patients who are discharged from hospital care to care in their own homes or with relatives without an adequately planned transfer process. Good communication is essential. Community nurses are pivotal in the process, and they have a right not to allow influences outside their professional expertise to interfere with their considered decisions.

The records that are kept of a patient's health and progress are central to the process of ongoing care. Records should not only be written in clear language but should also be expressed in such a way as to avoid misinterpretation by the next practitioner to become involved in the care process.

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