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New transfer of care hub launches with the aim of improving patient discharge from hospital

Written by on 05/09/2022

A new Transfer of Care Hub has launched today (Monday 5 September) with the aim of ensuring patients living within the Morecambe Bay Place Based Partnership area are discharged from hospital on the right pathways, with the right discharge information, and that they get the right onward care and support.

Integrated Transfer of Care Hub teams will be based at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) and Furness General Hospital (FGH), utilising virtual links to work with partners across the system to ensure patients get all the support they require in one easy step.

The Transfer of Care Hub has been put in place as part of the Trust’s transfer of care policy, currently being developed, and is in line with the Government’s Hospital Discharge and Community Support Guidance (March 2022). This guidance sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital.

Tracy Ashton, Discharge Lead for FGH, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “Through the Transfer of Care Hub we aim to improve patient experience. We are working with partners to ensure that all the support patients require is in place quicker. This will help to reduce risks including hospital-acquired infections including COVID-19 and prolonged length of stay in hospital.”

Sharon Doyle, Discharge Lead for RLI and Westmorland General Hospital, UHMBT, added: “The Transfer of Care Hub also aims to improve patient flow throughout our hospitals, including freeing up beds quicker for those requiring urgent medical care and potentially taking the pressure off the front door and reducing waiting times in our Emergency Departments.”

In Morecambe Bay, work has been ongoing since summer 2021 to develop a Transfer of Care Hub, with development workstream meetings taking place every fortnight.

Partners involved in the development of the hub include Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Care, Lancashire County Council, North Yorkshire County Council, NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (formally Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group), colleagues from the voluntary sector, Lancaster City Council, South Lakeland District Council, Barrow Borough Council, North West Ambulance Service, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust and Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit. Local hospices have been instrumental in the hub’s pathway development.

Dee Houghton, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Community at UHMBT, said: “Ongoing development work is initially focusing on hospital discharge pathway reviews, developing an e-dashboard and also to review supporting services for discharge – such as availability of transport.

“The timeliness of medication being available for patients leaving hospital, transportation and the availability of reablement and adult social care services, are some of the vital services essential for a Transfer of Care Hub to be effective.”