Patients should only be discharged when it is safe and clinically appropriate. Patients who may need support should only be discharged from hospital when there has been an assessment of the support they need to be discharged safely. Where patients are being transferred between care settings, this requires local health and care organisations to work together to ensure the transfers are centred around the needs of patients and their carers.
There are no national published criteria for measuring unsafe discharge. Neither national data nor data for individual trusts relating to unsafe discharges are routinely collected centrally.
Guidance and advice issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), for example ‘NICE Guideline NG27 – Transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care home settings for adults with social care needs’ - is focussed on recommendations for ensuring that hospital discharges are as safe as possible.