New Discharge Support Workers get patients moving

28 September 2023

Kingston Hospital’s Transfer of Care Hub has been boosted by the recruitment of 12 new Discharge Support Workers who have joined the existing four after a successful pilot project earlier this year.

The Discharge Support Workers make up part of a multidisciplinary team, which works closely with colleagues from Kingston and Richmond Councils, South West London ICB, Teddington Memorial Hospital and local voluntary sector organisations, to promote and support a safe and timely discharge for patients from hospital.

The number of long stay patients that were in Kingston Hospital longer than 21 days stood at 131 this time last year and has now fallen to 78, an achievement that our Integrated System Transfer of Care Hub Lead, Hazel Munroe-Browne, is proud of.

She said: “I come from a nursing background, which I think helps as I understand the clinical issues people face as well as the processes needed to get people out of hospital and into the right environment for them.

“I am proud of the work of the Transfer of Care Hub and the difference we are making to the flow of the hospital. By making sure plans are in place before a patient is ready to leave, we free up the time of Discharge Support Nurses, improve the flow of the hospital and ultimately improve the experience of patients.”

Each Discharge Support Worker covers one or two wards, which can have up to 50 beds each, and aims to identify patients and their individual needs within the first 24 hours of them being admitted to hospital. This means that there is a plan for discharge which can be put in place as soon as they are ready to leave.

Discharge Support Worker, Dan Lotek, said: “This role is great as it varies so much from day to day. Really, supporting complex discharge cases is like connecting the dots. Each patient is different, they’re from different boroughs, they have different needs and different priorities. It is our job to make sure all of this is considered on a case-to-case basis, working in partnership to get them where they need to go.”

Discharge Support Worker, Zohrah Akhtar, works with the Acute Assessment Unit. She added: “I work with patients before they are even admitted to a ward, starting their discharge process from scratch. Clinical staff work to get people well enough to go home, and it is my job to start getting the plans in place to make sure this can happen safely.”

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