Effective discharge for better care


Babies, children and young people should only be in hospital when no other community based or home alternative is available, and even then, only while acute hospital care is necessary. The vast majority of babies, infants, children and young people flourish best when they are at home, rather than in a hospital environment. To allow people to go home appropriately, safely and without delay, discharge planning must start before a hospital admission for elective planned care or on admission to hospital for emergency/unplanned care. This page sets out the principles we have signed up to across north east London to support effective discharge, to prevent our young patients from spending unnecessary time in hospital and to avoid the potential for poor or uncoordinated care in the community.

These principles underpin the work of all staff across the East London Health and Care Partnership who are involved in the care of babies, children and young people who require hospital discharge planning.

Our principles for discharge planning

Our discharge planning will be proactive and well-coordinated

  • we start planning for discharge as soon as a child or young person is admitted to hospital for emergency or unplanned care or before a planned hospital admission
  • the network of agencies and teams who will support for the family, in the hospital and the community, work collaboratively on planning for discharge with a lead professional identified
  • wherever practically possible children and young people should receive their care in their home and/or community

Our discharge planning will be co-produced with the person/people the plan affects

  • we will listen to and take account of the child or young person’s views and from the start of our planning for discharge
  • we will involve parents and/or carers as essential partners in every decision about their child’s care
  • we will identify and work to address barriers such as language, disability, mental health, culture and cognitive capacity to allow those affected by our plans to understand the proposed treatment and be involved in the planning process

Our discharge planning makes sure that safeguarding is paramount

  • we will place the welfare and health outcomes of the child at the centre of our decision making
  • we will place the welfare and safety of the child at the centre of our discharge planning

Updated: 07/11/2020