Pilot Scheme Helping Hospital Patients Transition To The Community Extended

Posted on 7 December 2021

We are proud to announce that our Discharge to Assess service, launched in November 2020, has been extended to March 2022.

Initially a six month pilot scheme, Discharge to Assess is based in Brighton and Hove and offers a managed transition for people moving from a hospital setting to the community who no longer need the higher levels of support and supervision provided on the ward.

Primarily available to Brighton and Hove inpatients aged 18 and over from acute mental health wards, clients are housed in self-contained, furnished accommodation and receive a tailored one-to-one six-week package of support as they transition. Each client receives ten hours of support per week spread across seven days, which is flexible according to need.

Floating Support Officers (FSOs) assist clients to rebuild connections with their wider community, offer support and advocacy in managing ongoing mental health issues, and assist them in exploring their longer term accommodation options.

The Discharge to Assess service benefits clients who are taking the next steps towards recovery by providing them with high level, intensive, and personalised support. Support during this transition helps clients move back into the community, live more independently, establish links and connections, build on their recovery, and build trust and relationships after a long hospital stay.

The service helps to alleviate delays to discharge for those who are medically fit but face a barrier to returning to their home or for those who do not have a home. In doing so, it also helps to open up hospital beds for people who need it, thereby allowing for the best use of hospital resources. For the client it creates an opportunity for their needs to be more accurately assessed away from the clinical environment of a hospital ward.

Since the launch of Discharge to Assess a year ago, the service has enabled some of our clients to go back to university, re-engage with family members, complete housing disrepair work, build on recovery, increase benefits, improve finances, and start new hobbies. Developing trust, confidence, friendships, and wellbeing has also been reported.

Looking to the future, Discharge to Assess will form part of Brighton and Hove’s Mental Health Accommodation Pathway, the city’s strategy for supported accommodation for people moving in and out of mental health services, covering a range of support levels from medium low to crisis.

For more information about the Discharge to Assess service, please click here.