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Home » Library » Discussion Papers » DP0702 Survey on the implementation of the Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act (2003)

Abstract: This article describes a survey of Social Service Departments (SSDs) in England on the implementation of the Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act (2003) which was legislated to help reduce the number of hospital patients experiencing delays in their discharge. A central feature was to reduce delays by allowing hospitals to charge SSDs a daily tariff for the occupancy of a hospital bed by a patient whose discharge has been delayed because of a failure to arrange the required social services.
The survey aimed to:

Survey findings indicated that in most cases, hospitals and SSDs chose to avoid a system of charging and payment. Of those that did have an arrangement to charge, there was a large variation in the amount paid to hospitals. The survey also revealed that the Community Care Act, combined with the Delayed Discharge Grant, resulted in different arrangements between hospitals and SSDs.

Survey data suggest that working relationships between hospitals and SSDs have either improved or been unchanged since implementation of the Act, although data are hard to interpret with any certainty due to methodological difficulties and the limited number of respondents. Nonetheless, such surveys can help focus the attention of policy makers and senior managers on the important ingredients of trust and cooperation in ensuring good hospital discharge management.

Full paper (pdf): DP0702 Survey on the implementation of the Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act (2003)
David McCoy, Allyson Pollock, Christina Bianchessi and Sylvia Godden