Housing team reduces discharge delays and saves £1.4m

How working together can save money for the NHS each year and improve quality of life for patients

By Michelle Turton, Housing Needs Manager Mansfield District Council

SCIE Featured article - 22 September 2016: The ASSIST early discharge scheme

Saving money, improving services and enhancing quality of life (all at the same time) seems an impossible challenge for the public sector. Mansfield health, social care and local authority services have pulled together in a critically acclaimed project to do exactly that. Set up as a trial at Kings Mill Hospital in Sutton in Ashfield, the ASSIST early discharge scheme sees council support officers working side by side with clinical staff and social care teams in hospital wards to get patients home safely and quickly.

Together, Mansfield District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and the NHS has unblocked beds, given patients independence and on the whole saved nearly £1.4m. Whilst the National Audit Office report bed blocking through late hospital discharge has increased to 1.15m days, at a local level we have saved on average 4.5 bed days per patient and we’ve helped 1,127 patients between July 2015 and April 2016. Our success rate is verified in a recent report by Nottingham Trent University and the Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group.

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