Improving discharge planning for older people

Acute Care | Primary Care | Secondary Care | Support Services


Staff within mental health and acute hospital services in Stockport, observed that older people suffering from acute confusion, often experience an extended acute hospital stay. Older people can become increasingly distressed in an unfamiliar environment, leading to changes in behaviour and even episodes of aggression. The team also wanted to relieve pressure on busy acute staff and free up acute beds for other patients.

Who and where?

The project was developed by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Stockport CCG. The team included a GP, mental health nurses, general nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.


The team established Saffron Ward to provide intermediate care for people with acute confusion. A Rapid Access Interface and Discharge Team (RAID) works within the hospital to identify patients whose health needs are primarily psychological rather than physical. They refer these patients to Saffron Ward. The service includes mental health support workers to assist in meeting personal care needs and provide practical support in managing behaviour.


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Our success

An economic evaluation showed the following results:

92% occupancy rate

6,000 acute bed days saved

Savings exceeded running costs by £553,000, in the first year

Savings of £1,000 per week, per bed.

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