Changes are afoot to the Care Act 2014 to alter the process of assessing the help and support a patient will need before discharge from hospital. Schedule 3 of the Care Act sets out the provisions for planning hospital discharge from hospital to local authority care. At the moment the legislation requires local authorities to carry out social care needs assessments before discharge from hospital. Often the need to carry out these assessments before discharge resulted in delays returning home, decline in independence, muscle deterioration and additional expense to the NHS.
The Health and Care Bill plans to alter this. It plans to adopt the "discharge to assess model" which enables recovery at home, a reduction of time in hospital and maintenance of independence. Care and reablement will be provided in the community to achieve this. Assessments will take place to review long term health and care needs at a point of optimum recovery.
The Bill is due to repeal Schedule 3 of the Care Act that states that the local authorities must assess for social care needs whilst a person remains a hospital inpatient. It will not change the legal obligations on the NHS to meet primary care needs and the local authority to meet social care needs and it does not change the criteria to obtain support.
If you are interested in what this could mean for you or a family member or are just curious about what the change,
why not have a look at the discharge to assess information booklet issued by the NHS. The link can be found below