Whenever a patient is admitted to hospital the staff in charge of the persons care will make an “estimated date of discharge” (EDD) This date is a guideline on approximately the length of the hospital stay but can be changed if there are unforeseen complications or changes to the original care plan on admission. The majority of patients will be discharged around the EDD date. This is more difficult to predict for stroke patients as each patient can have very different stroke symptoms. The EDD will be reviewed regularly by the hospital team. Most discharges will be planned and the person will go home with all the support they need in place. When this cannot be done for whatever reason the discharge may be delayed.
What is a delayed discharge
When an individual is “ ready for discharge”, but cannot leave the hospital because the other necessary care, support or accommodation for them is not readily accessible or funding is not available. (for example for a care or nursing home place) This is then a delayed discharge and is counted from the day when the ready for discharge date was decided.
Rules about delayed discharge
The hospital team including the social workers will then be expected to find placement, alternative accommodation or intermediate care for the patient within six weeks of a delayed discharge. Intermediate care can mean a range of services to maximise the patients independence when they return home. If the patient has complicated care needs, additional services and facilities should be in place to make the change between hospital and home as safe as possible. Discharge may be delayed due to the complicated planning required to arrange to meet those needs. Health and social services are usually required to work together to provide the patient with their care.