Principles for discharging patients from acute care: A scoping review of policy

Liz Lees-Deutsch, Janelle Yorke, Ann Louise Caress

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: acute medicine units (AMUs) are part of acute hospital care, where length of patient stay is short and turnover is high. Expediting patient discharge safely is a major function of AMUs, which need up-to-date bespoke guidance. Aim: to carry out a scoping review of UK discharge policy to critically consider, compare and contrast the relevant discharge policies and guidance that underpin the assessment of acute patient discharge. Objectives: to inform the production of bespoke patient discharge guidance for AMUs. Design and stages: identify the review questions; identify relevant studies; select the studies; chart the data; collate, summarise and report the results. Findings: 28 patient discharge policy guidelines were identified that had no specific guidance for patient discharge from AMUs. New bespoke principles for AMUs were created through a pragmatic interpretation of current relevant policies. Conclusion: there is a gap in specific patient discharge guidance for AMUs. New guidance should contribute in practice to improve patient discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1143
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 MA Healthcare Ltd.


  • Acute medical unit
  • Clinical practice
  • Patient discharge
  • Policy
  • Scoping review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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