The challenge

In North West London, our award-winning Integrated Hospital Discharge Programme involved working with the West London Alliance, 8 CCGs, 8 local authorities, 10 hospitals and multiple other local providers to establish a single, integrated hospital discharge function.

Our approach 

Bringing together health and social care staff, improving experience and outcomes for patients, and reducing critical capacity pressures on local acute services, the project was winner of the Institute for Continuous Improvement in Public Services Award 2017 and Patient Experience Network National Award 2016.

The programme team established a strong partnership-working environment managing the complexity of liaising across organisational boundaries (local authority, health commissioners and providers), professional boundaries (clinicians, managers, leaders) as well as levels of seniority (from frontline staff to chief executives).

Our impact

A mix of 1-2-1 engagement, joint workshops, formal organisational development and training, and an overarching governance model supported by robust technical, behavioural and analytical analysis helped ensure engagement and buy-in at each stage of this journey, with 89% of NHS and 79% of Local Authority staff believing that the model has been effective in:

  • improving the patient and carer experience
  • improving the overall discharge process
  • decreasing referrals into higher levels of care
  • freeing up frontline time and
  • cutting Delayed Transfers of Care by up to 50%

“The team were able to support our vision of sub-regional devolution and understand how to support us to gain consensus across elected members, chief executives, senior officers and health colleagues on complex whole system changes.”

Liz Bruce, Programme SRO