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NHS publishes new discharge framework

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), has released a new framework agreement, ‘Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds Services’ to support hospitals when discharging patients

In June alone, the number of patients who no longer met the criteria to reside but remained in hospital was in excess of 12,000 daily, and analysis by The Health Foundation shows the NHS was forced to cut admissions by over half a million due to lack of beds.

NHS SBS’s procurement framework comes as NHS England (NHSE) sets out plans to speed up discharge of patients and improve care in preparation for what it expects to be a “difficult” winter for the service.

Plans include the creation of “traffic control” hubs that will act as a single place for staff to co-ordinate the best and quickest discharge options for patients – either at home or into social community care.

NHS SBS’s Framework Agreement enables NHS hospitals and health and care providers use services like Virtual Ward support, Brokerage, and Discharge to Assess services – all of which can help them improve patient pathways from acute care to an appropriate care setting.

Uniquely, it also supports additional care in mental health settings with a Mental Health Step Down Care Beds Services offer.

Supported placements must provide safe, rapid assessments with an outcome of accommodation for patients aged 18 and over, currently experiencing mental ill-health, and being discharged from an acute ward for up to six months.


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