NICE issues guidance to tackle the ‘revolving door of care’ for adults with social care needs following hospital treatment

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has today published guidance aimed at supporting people with social care needs to leave hospital in a timely and coordinated way.

The guidance will help to reduce the number of people returning hospital unnecessarily, ensuring they receive the continuity of care they need when they return to their communities.

Kathryn Smith, Director of Operations at Alzheimer's Society and NICE guidance development group chair, said:

'Timely and appropriate discharge from hospital is essential to achieving high-quality, seamless care that's right for the individual. A stay in hospital away from familiar surroundings can be a very stressful time for anyone, particularly peopleliving with dementia.

'Plans for discharge should be made with the individual to ensure that they are going to the place that's right for them – whether that's home or residential care. Effective planning should ensure that discharge is safe and at the appropriate time, for example during the week, when it may be easier to arrange care. We encourage comprehensive and specialist assessment of complex needs; close communication between everyone involved in the individual's care; and that discharge is supported through social care and reablement, where needed. 

'Nearly all of the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK will require care and support from both the NHS and social care system at some point in their lives – people with dementia account for around 3.2 million hospital bed days per year. We hope that this new guidance will support the health and social care system to provide continuous care that's tailored to the individual, wherever they are.'

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