Results - Leaving Hospital
Around 8 out of 10 people ( 78 per cent) rated the 'overall' arrangements for leaving hospital as 'excellent' or 'good'.
This is the lowest score for any of the overall rating questions in the survey.
Two in five people ( 40 per cent) experienced delays to discharge on the day of leaving, half of delays ( 56 per cent) being due to waiting for medicines. Around one in five people ( 20 per cent) experienced delays over four hours.
Of those requiring help and support to be arranged for after leaving hospital, only 71 per cent were 'completely' confident it had been arranged, while 20 per cent felt it had been arranged 'to some extent' and nine per cent did not feel confident it had been arranged.
People were less positive about hospital transport, of those eligible for hospital transport, over one in five ( 22 per cent), were not happy with how it had been arranged.
In general, results for questions relating to all aspects of leaving hospital including those on medicines given to patients on leaving, saw similar results or a decrease in positive ratings from the previous survey in 2014. The only exception to this was in relation to the overall time spent in hospital, which saw an increase of one percentage point for a positive response.
Timely and appropriate discharge from hospital is an important part of the patient journey. The patient and any carer(s) should be provided with clear information about the discharge process and any follow-up care and support required after leaving hospital. We asked people a series of questions about preparation for hospital discharge, arrangements for going home, delays on the day of discharge and experiences of hospital transport and medicines.
Overall rating of arrangements for leaving hospital
People were fairly positive about the arrangements made for leaving hospital: around four out of five ( 78 per cent) rating these arrangements positively. However of all the overall rating questions in the survey, people were less positive around arrangements for leaving hospital compared to other areas (Figures 29 and 30).
Figure 29 Overall, how would you rate the arrangements made for your leaving hospital? (%)
Figure 30 Overall, how would you rate the arrangements made for your leaving hospital? (%)
Delays on the day patients left hospital
Two in five people ( 40 per cent) experienced a delay on the day they left hospital, mainly because they had to wait for medicines (Figure 31).
Figure 31 Summary of why patients experienced a delayed on the day they left hospital (%)
Just under half of those ( 47 per cent) who experienced a delay on the day they left hospital reported waiting up to 2 hours before they could leave, while the other 53 per cent waited two hours or more (Figure 32).
Figure 32 Summary of how long a delay patients experienced on leaving hospital (%)
Length of time in hospital
People were asked about their experience of the total length of time in hospital, to make the link with the care when leaving hospital:
- large majority of people ( 89 per cent) felt that the length of time they were in hospital was reasonable
- seven per cent felt that it was too long
- four per cent felt that it was too short
Arrangements for help and support at home
A large majority of people ( 85 per cent) felt confident that they could look after themselves when they left the hospital.
People were asked whether they felt confident that help they required at home had been arranged for them before they left hospital. Over a third of people ( 34 per cent) reported they did not need any help arranged before leaving hospital.
Of the remaining 66 per cent who needed help to be arranged for them, 71 per cent were 'completely' confident it had been arranged, 20 per cent felt it had been arranged 'to some extent' and 9 per cent did not feel confident it had been arranged.
Arrangements for leaving hospital
People were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with four statements about the arrangements made for them when they left hospital (Figure 33). There were no statistically significant changes in the percentage positive rating since the 2014, 2012 or the 2011 surveys.
The percentage of people answering positively ranged from 72 per cent ('I was told about any danger signs to watch for when I left hospital') to 83 per cent ('My family or home situation was taken into account when planning for me leaving hospital').
People were asked whether they were involved in decisions about leaving hospital. Just over three quarters of patients ( 76 per cent) agreed that they were involved in decisions about leaving hospital.
Figure 33 Summary results of statements asked about the arrangements made for leaving hospital (%)
Patient Transport Service
Some people are eligible for Patient Transport Service based on their medical or clinical needs [ 21], therefore a question was asked to capture patients' experience of arranging such transport.
Most people reported they were not eligible for hospital transport ( 83 per cent).
Of the remaining 17 per cent who were eligible:
- 78 per cent were happy with how this had been arranged
- 22 per cent were not happy
Many patients are given medicines when leaving hospital and it is important that they understand what their medicines are for, how and when to take them, and to understand the possible side effects and know what to do if they have any concerns to reduce adverse events. The Scottish Patient Safety Programme [ 22] aims to help provide safe and effective medicines management.
People were asked if they had been given medicines to take home when they left hospital. Over three quarters ( 78 per cent) indicated that they had been given medicines to take home. These people were then asked how much they agreed or disagreed with four statements about these medicines (Figure 34).
The percentage of people answering positively ranged from 69 per cent ('I didn't have to wait too long to get my medicines') to 97 per cent ('I understood how and when to take my medicines').
Almost a quarter of people ( 23 per cent) indicated that the wait for medicines was too long which corresponds with the responses to the earlier questions on delays on the day of discharge, where people indicated that these were mainly due to waits for medicines.
The results for medicines are fairly similar to those in 2014, however there was a fall of one and two percentage points in the percentage of people answering positively about understanding possible side effects and the wait to get medicines respectively.
Figure 34 Summary results of statements asked about medication (%)
Email: Nicola Kerr, firstname.lastname@example.org