Hospital discharge processes



The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee undertook an inquiry into the hospital discharge process.  This inquiry focused 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.


In January 2021, the Committee considered its work programme for the remainder of this Senedd and agreed that given the limited time remaining, it continued to focus on its inquiry into the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, and its management, on health and social care in Wales. Unfortunately, this meant that the Committee was unable to continue its work into hospital discharge processes.  The Committee agreed to highlight in its legacy report the work already undertaken, with a strong recommendation that its successor committee recommences this inquiry at the first available opportunity in the Sixth Senedd. The Committee would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to contribute their views to this inquiry.


Terms of reference

The terms of reference for the Committee’s inquiry were:

  • 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.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 13/02/2020