Estimating date of discharge at ward level: a pilot study.

Liz Lees, Catherine Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Reimbursement is part of the government's strategy to reduce the level of delayed patient discharge from hospital. This article describes a pilot study, undertaken on one ward in a large NHS teaching trust, to involve clinicians in estimating a date of discharge for patients, to improve discharge practice and assist the reimbursement process. Since January 2004, if a patient is not fit for discharge within a day of being designated for discharge, social services has to reimburse the acute trust up to 120 pounds sterling per day for the delay, if the reasons for the delay were attributed to a delay in the provision of service. The barriers to implementing this initiative at ward level are discussed and suggestions made for a pragmatic way forward to enable a process for estimating a date of discharge to work in practice. CONCLUSION: Estimating a date for discharge requires two fundamental steps: a clinical process to estimate and/or document a date of predicted medical fitness, followed by a communication process to document an estimated date of discharge. Effective discharge planning leading to a reduction in delayed discharges will not occur without these two steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-43
Number of pages4
JournalNursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Discharge planning
  • Discharge procedures
  • Patients: discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating date of discharge at ward level: a pilot study.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this