This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
In Progress
Ensure hospitals can discharge emergency admissions at a similar rate at weekends as on weekdays

We will also ensure hospitals can discharge emergency admissions at a similar rate at weekends as on weekdays, so that when someone is medically fit to leave hospital they can, whichever day of the week it is.

Our Verdict

A body of research gathered together by the government in 2015 pointed to what is known as “the weekend effect”, meaning “an association between weekend hospital admissions and poorer patient outcomes”. Included in that research was a report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which found that:

“the patient’s care pathway is often put into hibernation particularly over weekends, resulting in delays in…discharge from hospital.”

When a patient remains in hospital longer than necessary it is known as a “delayed transfer of care” (DTOC). This policy is essentially a promise to bring the weekend DTOC rate for emergency admission into line with weekdays.

The most significant action under this government has been the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan. The plan outlines several initiatives to tackle DTOCs:

  • same day emergency care
  • shared savings scheme
  • digitisation and integration of community services
  • placing therapy and social work teams at the beginning of the acute hospital pathway
  • an expectation that patients will have an agreed clinical care plan within 14 hours of admission which includes an expected date of discharge
  • implementation of the SAFER patient flow bundle and multidisciplinary team reviews on all hospital wards every morning
  • a ’12-point discharge plan’ to ensure discharges are timely and effective

NHS England captures data on DTOCs monthly. Although we haven’t found a breakdown by day of the week, there have been “reductions in the volume of delayed transfers of care in the last year”.

It’s too early to pass judgement on the effectiveness of the Long Term Plan in tackling DTOCs at weekends, so for now this is ‘in progress’. We’ll keep tracking to see if we can justify moving this to ‘done’ – follow this policy for updates.

Ensure you’ve got the details

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!
Comments