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PATIENTS at St. Mary’s Hospital will benefit from a new ‘discharge’ lounge which will open week commencing Monday 24th July with the aim of making the transition from hospital to home a more comfortable and smooth one for them. 

Newchurch ward is being refurbished and will provide patients awaiting discharge with a larger, better equipped and more pleasant environment within the hospital with dedicated staff.

St. Mary’s Hospital receives around 20,000 ward admissions each year and to improve patient experience on discharge, all patients whose discharge can be planned in advance, but may not be able to go home until later in the day due to awaiting collection by a relative or transfer to a home, will now be transferred to the discharge lounge by 9am on the day of their discharge where they will be looked after.

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Currently, 85% of patients are discharged in the afternoon (excluding Mental Health, Paediatrics and Obstetrics).   Bringing forward the time of the patients discharge from the acute and rehabilitation wards to the discharge lounge, will free up beds to enable the next emergency patient to be admitted.

Donna Collins, Associate Director, Acute Clinical Directorate, said “It is very important that we are able to free up beds in acute wards for new admissions and at the same time ensure that those patients being discharged are looked after in a comfortable environment.    We appreciate that many patients need to wait until later in the day for a relative to collect them and so by opening this larger facility in Newchurch ward, we are able to provide a comfortable environment for the patient being discharged but at the same time free up acute beds for new admissions.  By introducing this, we also aim to improve our patients experience as currently they are encountering moves across wards late at night when beds become available. No patient is discharged from their acute ward unless clinically safe to do so.”

Facilities in the discharge lounge will include beds for patients who will be transferring to a nursing or residential home.

On admission to hospital, patients will receive a ‘Leaving Hospital’ leaflet which will be explained to them and plans will be put in place to ensure a smooth and timely transition from hospital to home at the end of their stay. We expect patients to be fully involved in planning their discharge, together with a relative, carer or friend.

Key points to remember:

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Hospital transport will only be arranged for those patients with a medical need as ambulances can then be made available to deal with emergencies.

Patients are being asked to only bring into hospital the items they require for the duration of their stay (clothing, toiletries, etc) and where possible, to arrange for a relative, carer or friend to take home any excess prior to their discharge.

Medication brought in with patients will be returned and the pharmacy staff will explain any new medication before discharge.

A letter will be provided to take to the GP on the way home which details the reason for hospital care.  A copy will also be sent by the hospital so that GP’s will be aware should there be a need to contact them.

For patients requiring help at home, clear instructions on who to contact would be given prior to movement to the discharge lounge and arrangements would be made for any equipment required at home.

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