Hospital discharge processes

Receiving evidence

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the hospital discharge process.  This inquiry will focus specifically on delayed transfers of care, i.e. where an inpatient in a hospital is ready to move on to the next stage of care, but is prevented from doing so for one or more reasons.



A ‘Delayed Transfer of Care’ (DToC) is experienced by an inpatient in a hospital who is ready to move on to the next stage of care, but is prevented from doing so for one or more reasons.


This short inquiry will provide an opportunity to understand more about the extent and causes of delayed transfers of care, where and when particular pressure points are, the impact on patients, carers, families and services, the processes adopted to manage and effect hospital discharge, and examples of good practice.


Terms of reference

The terms of reference for the inquiry are to look at:

  • How delayed transfers of care are ‘measured’ (both in terms of numbers and impact), what the national data shows about why delayed transfers of care occur, the key pressure points across Wales and during the year, and possible reasons for variations.
  • What are the discharge processes within the health and social care sector, how effectively they adhere to the SAFER guidance and other good practice.
  • Whether there is the infrastructure and staff awareness to ensure the effective delivery of these processes.
  • The experiences of patients, families, carers and staff of discharge processes.
  • What are the barriers and enablers to effective communication and joint working between health, social care and third sector bodies.
  • The identification of practical frontline solutions and initiatives that work, enabling effective, appropriate and timely hospital discharge; how these are rolled out and mainstreamed.


The deadline for responses to the Committee’s inquiry on hospital discharge processes has been lifted until further notice. We will continue to accept responses from those wishing to submit a response.



Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

First published: 13/02/2020




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