“Out of Hospital” Report Calls for Carer Involvement in Discharge Planning

Note: The following blog post has been contributed by Beryl Cross who is the Development Manager (South East) for the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

Today is the launch day for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers “Out of Hospital” report and we are calling for the NHS to take practical steps to work together with carers as equal partners when planning for the discharge of patients from hospital.

The “Out of Hospital” project included partnership work between carers, Carers’ Centres and hospitals in Barnet and in Swindon. This afternoon carers, carers’ workers and NHS workers from Swindon and Barnet will be at the launch to share the practical tips that they found worked to get everyone acting together to benefit patients and carers and avoid readmissions to hospital.

I’m hoping the launch will inspire those NHS workers who attend to develop their partnership with carers and in turn help them in changing hospital systems and culture. We’ve already received messages of support from the Royal College of GPs and other NHS bodies so that’s a really positive start.

Have a look at the key messages from the report and it would be great if you could share them with other carers, carers’ workers and NHS planners and staff that you know.

I will be back soon to let you know how the launch went, including what the carer presenting at the launch had to say.

All the best,



July 21, 2010 - Posted by | Health | , , , , , ,


  1. We don’t just do all the care when our disabled person is out of hospital. Because of his severe disability we are at the hospital until midnight in order to put him to bed (nurses claim they don’t know how to operate the hoist or how to put him onto his bi-pap ventilator). We are then back at the hospital around 7am to get him out of bed again – for all this they take the miserable pittance that is carers allowance off us even though we are still doing the care – that should not be allowed, surely.


    Comment by Eun | July 21, 2010 | Reply

    • You’ve made a very good point, carers continue to be there for the person they care for throughout the patients’ stay in hospital. But hospitals taking account of and learning from carers’ knowledge and expertise is one thing, assuming carers will provide health care is quite another. Because I don’t know the details of your situation and of the disabled person you support I’d suggest you contact your local Carers’ Centre. They can help you make your case to the hospital. You may find details of your local centre here (,1773,CA.html). What I can tell you is that yesterday the Royal College of Nursing gave their full support to the call to work to support carers and the head Nursing people at a hospital in the South West of England explained exactly how they support and work with carers throughout the hospital stay of the person they care for. If they can do it then your local hospital can do it. And on the carers allowance…The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has heard from many carers that they think this is inadequate and not fair and so we are lobbying the Government to change things.

      Comment by On behalf of Beryl | July 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. I agree Eun – even though stressful caring for someone at home, the stresses can be equal, worse or just plain different when that person is in hospital. In the past I asked for help with the extra costs incurred when my daughter was in hospital and the DWP actually took money away!!! Never mind the stresses of juggling care of my other young children at the time, as well as having to be at the hospital to look after my daughter’s needs just as you describe.

    With regard to the discharge process – I have seen a lot of bullying and coercion to care by hospital staff who are passing on the pressure they are under around discharge timings. This is not only counter-productive, bad practice, but actually illegal. Recently my local hospital discharged a patient with severe dementia and sent her home in a taxi without even telling her carer (her daughter) and she was left outside her home, to be found wandering the street – they hadn’t even made sure she was indoors. I really welcome the PRTC report and hope that it does make a real difference to carers and of course the people they care for. As described, a lot of the treatment around discharge at present is disgraceful.

    Comment by Jill Pay | July 22, 2010 | Reply

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