Researchers working on early hospital discharge scheme to compete for national excellence award

An innovative hospital early discharge scheme could be in line for a national accolade as Nottingham Business School (NBS) researchers get ready to compete for a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) award.

Early hospital discharge scheme
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The scheme ensures vulnerable patients receive support when discharged from hospital
When public service organisations work together we can deliver better outcomes, which is especially important when those assisted are vulnerable.

Hayley Barsby, Director of Communities at Mansfield District Council

An innovative hospital early discharge scheme could be in line for a national accolade as Nottingham Business School (NBS) researchers get ready to compete for a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) award.

The Better Together – ASSIST (Advocacy, Sustainment, Supporting Independence, Safeguarding Team) Hospital Discharge Scheme is run by Mansfield District Council to support the early discharge and immediate residential care of patients from Kings Mill Hospital in Mansfield.

The project has involved on-going evaluation by Peter Murphy and Dr Don Harradine from the Public Policy and Management Research Group at NBS, whose findings have shown that the scheme has the potential to save in excess of £1.3m per year –approximately five times the cost of the investment necessary to run the scheme.

As one of four schemes shortlisted, the team will present their work at the 2017 NICE Shared Learning Awards in front of an audience of approximately 1500 representatives from the NHS, who will vote for their favourite project.

The finalists have all carried out work in accordance with NICE guidelines. In the case of ASSIST, the focus was to support the transition between in-patient hospital settings and the community or care home settings for adults with social care needs or those medically fit people who could not leave hospital without intervention.

The work of ASSIST begins when patients, often the most vulnerable members of the community, first arrive at the hospital. The team, whose members have specialist knowledge on areas such as drug addiction and care of the elderly and frail, identifies those it can help and has the support ready for them upon discharge – reducing the number of discharges which are delayed due to unsuitable housing.

ASSIST can help in three ways depending on the needs of the patient; people leaving hospital are assisted to find suitable accommodation; where appropriate, the patient's own property is made fit for their return; and discharged patients are provided with a range of supporting services, such as advice on money and welfare and help transferring belongings from the old to the new home.

Peter Murphy, principal lecturer in Public Service Management at Nottingham Business School, said: “Our evaluations have demonstrated what a success ASSIST has been for Mansfield District Council and the patients at Kingsmill Hospital. It's fantastic that this success has been recognised with a NICE nomination and we’re looking forward to presenting the work."

Hayley Barsby, director of Communities at Mansfield District Council, said: “Reaching the final of the NICE awards means this scheme is rightly being recognised as nationally significant. When public service organisations work together we can deliver better outcomes, which is especially important when those assisted are vulnerable.

“We’d like to thank Nottingham Business School for their evaluation work and ongoing help to promote the benefits of ASSIST."

ASSIST was commissioned by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, with additional financial support from Mansfield District Council, and is an integral part of the Better Care Plan for Mid Nottinghamshire. It receives client referrals from health, housing and social care partners in central Nottinghamshire as well as occasional ad-hoc referrals.

The scheme is a collaboration of teams from the district council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Sherwood Forest Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust and the Mid Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

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Researchers working on early hospital discharge scheme to compete for national excellence award

Published on 13 April 2017
  • Category: Business; Press office; Research

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