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Feedback from a recent patient and carer survey is helping to improve the hospital discharge experience for hundreds of citizens across Birmingham.

The telephone-based survey captured the views of around 200 patients and carers who had stayed in an Early Intervention (EI) community bed (Pathway 2) across multiple BCHC sites from July 2020 to March 2021.

Designed by the Birmingham Community Healthcare Hospital (BCHC) patient experience team, EI iHub staff members and the independent health and social care champion Healthwatch, the 17 questions invited patients and carers to provide feedback on their overall discharge experience.

The sample of patients surveyed included people admitted with confirmed or suspected coronavirus as well as those admitted for unrelated reasons. The survey invited people to share their opinions on the care they received, including the quality of information and interaction with staff, the cleanliness of the hospital environment and their discharge arrangements.

The questionnaire was split into two parts.  The first focussed on the discharge process and the second looked at the demographic and whether the respondent was a patient or carer.

Bev Marriott , iHub Lead said:  “Once people no longer need hospital care, being back in their own surroundings is the best place for them to continue recovery. However, unnecessary delays in being discharged from hospital are a problem that too many people continue to experience.  As part of Birmingham’s EI programme, one of our goals is to help reduce delays in patients being discharged from hospital and we are fully committed to achieving this.”

“There were no immediate surprises as regards the feedback.  Transport and medication seemed to be the main issues regarding delays and we are already addressing these areas.  The results also reveal some concerns that certain groups found some aspects of their hospital stay more difficult, such as people with dementia or a mental health condition.  Again, we are already looking into these areas.”Bev continued:  “The survey results need to be viewed in light of the fact that feedback was given in the midst of the Covid pandemic when pressures on the system were at an all-time high.  However, we have a positive set of results that have given us something to build on and are already helping us to enhance our care model.

The iHub

The iHub is a single point of access for discharge to assess pathways.  It was formed during the pandemic to support effective and efficient decision making for hospital discharge pathways (P1, P2 and P3).

The role of the iHub is to help deliver effective management of patient flow across the system for B’ham residents. It supports safe, timely admissions and discharges and collects information/data to aid demand/capacity modelling and has the ability to operate 7 days a week 8am-8pm, switching on and off at pace subject to demand.

The iHub liaises with the complex discharge hubs to co-ordinate the transfer of patient from acute hospitals to their ongoing health and social care pathways.