A delayed discharge occurs when a patient remains in hospital after having been declared medically fit to return home from a hospital admission. Patients may remain in hospital for reasons other than medical need due to for example delays in finding appropriate placements for community care, need to make equipment alterations in the home, or arrangement for care needs. Delayed discharges place a great burden on stretched hospital services through finances and resources, and despite government interventions to ease transitions out of hospital, delayed discharges are increasing. Although not well studied, anecdotal evidence suggests that delay in discharges may also be of detriment to patent well-being through hospital acquired-infections or mortality from other complications. We aim to study the role of different patient and hospital characteristics on influencing the risk of a patient having a delayed discharge. Further, we aim to study if patients who experience a delayed discharge are more likely to experience a serious infection or even death. Finally, we aim to see if the issue of delayed discharges is getting better or worse over time. This may help provide an evidence base for patients, clinicians, and policy-makers on appropriate strategies to reduce the occurrence of delayed discharges.
Chief Investigator: Dr Julia Pakpoor
Research location: Oxford University
Approval date: 12 Oct 2017