Discharge planning

Discharge planning

Statement 6.11

Clear written information about follow up care and prescribed medications should be provided before discharge from the ward and communicated to the patient’s IBD clinical team and GP within 48 hours of discharge.

Why is it important?

Planning for a patient’s discharge is a key aspect of effective care.

Patients tell us that communication, co-ordination and continuity are essential not just to their care, but also to their ability to self-manage their condition well.1

The IBD Inpatient Experience Audit 2014 found that one third of adult patients reported that they weren’t told about medication side effects or danger signals to watch out for when they went home. This lack of information can lead to unnecessary complications.

It’s important that:

  • Patients have clear, written information about follow up care (and number/person to contact in the event of clinical urgency) before discharge from the ward.
  • The ward pharmacy team start discharge planning early, ideally under the supervision of the expert pharmacist in IBD.
  • Patients have information about any changes in medication – and these are communicated to the patient’s IBD clinical team, GP and patient's community pharmacist, where appropriate, within 48 hours of discharge.

At hospital, the nurse told me about my new stoma bags, said I might feel dizzy on my tablets and gave me a copy of the letter to my GP. I felt I knew what was happening and what to do next.

Patient survey respondent

1Irving P, Burisch J, Driscoll R, et al. IBD2020 global forum: results of an international patient survey on quality of care. Intest Res 2018;16:537-45.