NHSE progresses Discharge Ready Date data metric

NHS England has written a letter to ICB and NHS trust executives, directors and chief financial officers, providing guidance on collecting data for the development of the planned discharge metric.

The letter reiterates the role of the new discharge metric, which was set out as a commitment in the 2023 plan for recovering urgent and emergency care; to measure the time between a patient no longer meeting the criteria to reside (their ‘discharge ready’ date) and their actual date of discharge. The aim of the programme is to record and monitor when patients are ready for discharge, and encourage the process to begin earlier, through recording this metric.

It goes on to note the importance of data collection to support the NHS in understanding the number of simple discharges versus complex discharges, the length of delay for each patient, and to enable more detailed analysis to understand and tackle trends.

“We know that many have found this data challenging to record so we have now issued updated guidance on how to record this data to make it easier for ward staff to focus their attention on those patients whose discharge is delayed,” the letter reads.

Along with updated guidance, the resource provides example scenarios around data collection and a set of frequently asked questions, focusing on areas such as whether the data should be collected for children and young people, and whether the data still needs to be collected if the organisation has already recorded something similar.

The guidance can be found in full here.

HTN covered the release of the recovery plan for urgent and emergency services, with a focus on the role of digital including virtual ward expansion; click here to read.

At the start of the year, we also provided a digital-focused view on NHSE’s key priorities and plans for 2023/24, which can be found here.