Early safe discharge- May 2013

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Listed below is the high level evidence on Early Safe Discharge produced by NICE, SIGN and NHS based organisations. Also included are the European Society guidelines where available. This list is produced and maintained by HEFT Library Services to support VITAL for Doctors core skills programme developed in the Trust.


HEFT Local Policies

Admissions and Discharges – SharePoint site

Highlights Trusts’ policies; discharge flow chart and bed management procedures

Early, neonatal postnatal discharge

Shika Sharma, Maggie Dobson and Phillipa Sorrow, February 2009.

Next Review Date: February, 2011.

Discharge Practices Policy and Procedures v6.0

Ian Donnelly, Maria McKenzie, Margaret McLaughlin, June 2011.

Next Review Date: April 2013

Paediatric Discharge Policy

Karen Barber, Beth Pugh, January 2009. Next Review Date: December 2011

[Access to the above Policies is available through Trust PCs]


NICE Guidelines and Pathways

Rapid Discharge Home to Die Integrated Care Pathway

The Maria Curie Palliative Care Institute, March 2011


Map of Medicine



National Guidelines & Non-UK Guidelines (includes Professional Bodies/Associations)

The SIGN Discharge Document (Guideline no. 128)

SIGN, June 2012

Homeless Link: Improving hospital admission and discharge for people who are homeless (PDF 1.38MB).

Homeless Link and St Mugo’s, June 2012

From hospital to home: steps for hospital staff – identify need and take action (PDF 89.9KB)
Homeless Link and St Mugo’s, June 2012

News: Hospitals discharging homeless people onto the street.

Homeless Link, June 2012

Discharge planning: a guide

BMJ Learning Module, December 2010

Written by: Mark Thomas, Niall Ferguson, Natasha Jacques, Liz Lees, and Helen Morant

Ready to Go? Planning the Discharge and the Transfer of Patients from Hospital and Intermediate Care.

Department of Health, March 2010.

Discharge Planning: a summary of DoH guidance Ready to go? Planning the Discharge and the Transfer of patients from Hospital and Intermediate Care

RCN Publishing Essential Guide, Spring 2010.

Prevention Package for Older People Resources

Department of Health, March 2010.

This is a suite of downloadable resources designed to support PCTs, SHAs and Local Authorities in prioritising and commissioning services that support health and well being of older people.

Nursing and Midwifery Council – Guidance for Older People on Discharge Planning

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, March 2010.

Discharge Planning

NHS Institute of Innovation and Improvement, 2008

This site highlights what is discharge planning; some key elements to consider at the time of discharge; types of discharge; role of bed management and impact of discharge planning.

Moving patients, moving medicines and moving safely: Guidance on discharge and transfer planning

Prepared by The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain et al, 2006

Discharge Planning – Day Surgery

Royal College of Nursing, December 2004

Achieving timely ‘simple’ discharge from hospital : A toolkit for the multi-disciplinary team

Department of Health, August 2004.

Discharge from hospital: pathway, process and practice

Health and Social Care Joint Unit and Change Agent Team, January 2003.

This good practice guidance updates and builds on the Hospital Discharge Workbook published in 1994.


Systematic Reviews – Cochrane Library

Discharge planning from hospital to home

Sasha Shepperd1,*,  Jacqueline McClaran2,  Christopher O Phillips3,  Natasha A Lannin4,  Lindy M Clemson5,  Annie McCluskey6,  Ian D Cameron7,  Sarah L Barras8

Editorial Group: Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group

Published Online: 31st JAN 2013

Hospital at home early discharge

Sasha Shepperd1,*,  Helen Doll1,  Joanna Broad2,  John Gladman3,  Steve Iliffe4,  Peter Langhorne5,  Suzanne Richards6,  Finbarr Martin7,  Roger Harris8

Editorial Group: Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group

Published Online: 17 MAR 2010 Assessed as up-to-date: 23 JUL 2008

Written and verbal information versus verbal information only for patients being discharged from acute hospital settings to home

Anne Johnson1,*,  Jayne Sandford1,  Jessica Tyndall2

Editorial Group: Cochrane Consumers and Communication Group

Published Online: 8 OCT 2008 Assessed as up-to-date: 9 SEP 2005

Telephone follow-up, initiated by a hospital-based health professional, for postdischarge problems in patients discharged from hospital to home

Patriek Mistiaen1,*,  Else Poot2

Editorial Group: Cochrane Consumers and Communication Group

Published Online: 16 JUL 2008


NHS Evidence

Hospital based care management assessment and discharge planning: the experiences of older service users

Social Care Online, January 2013

Preventing emergency readmissions to hospital A scoping review

Ellen Nolte, Martin Roland, Susan Guthrie, Laura Brereton

Prepared by RAND Corporation for the UK Department of Health (England) within the Policy Research Programme (PRP) project “An ‘On-call’ Facility for International Healthcare Comparisons”, January 2012

Discharge, Referral and Admission: A Structured Evidence-based Literature Review,

Cummings, E., Showell, C., Roehrer, E., Churchill, B., Turner, B., Yee, K.C., Wong, M.C., Turner, P. (2010) eHealth Services Research Group, University of Tasmania, Australia (on behalf of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, and the NSW Department of Health).

A research review on tackling delayed discharge

Scottish School of Primary Care Authors: Gill Hubbard, Guro Huby, Sally Wyke, Markus Themessl-Huber, October 2004

Can good bed management solve the overcrowding in accident and emergency departments?

N C Proudlove1K Gordon2R Boaden1

Emergency Medicine Journal 2003;20:149-155 doi:10.1136/emj.20.2.149


Further information:

The following sources have been searched for evidence published in the previous 12 months: HEFT Policies, NICE, SIGN, Map of Medicine, NHS Evidence, Department of Health, Royal College of Nursing, Social Care Online and Cochrane Library. Please contact [email protected]  for any further information.

For more information on how to make the most use of the HEFT Library Services, visit www.heftlibrary.nhs.uk. Visit NHS Evidence www.evidence.nhs.uk to access your guidelines, Cochrane systematic reviews, journals and databases.