‘Discharge planning is the most important policy in the NHS and the best discharge planning is about reducing the length of stay, improving the quality of care, making that care patient, not process, centred and reducing readmissions.’
So says Liz Lees, and she should know, having just edited a massive 32 chapters on the subject, submitted by a huge range of healthcare professionals.
‘Those who buy the book will encounter a wealth of experience; they will get practical tips and can learn from other people’s mistakes and successes.’ She says.
This is Liz’s second book on discharging and is a far more practical guide than the first. ‘It is not academic textbook,’ Liz explains, ‘it will appeal to operational staff. It is a vehicle to showcase and share pockets of excellence around the UK’.
While Liz’s first book was aimed at nurses this is very much a multi-disciplinary text, there are chapters written by doctors and nurses and perspectives from a pharmacist, an occupational therapist, a social worker and from the PALs team.
‘There is so much great work being done out there,’ Liz says, ‘but people don’t generally write it up unless you give them a chance. And when you do it is absolutely inspirational.’
About 50 per cent of the book is dedicated to a range of case examples, real life stories that are told in the hope of advancing practical changes that will improve the patient experience. They range from a district nurse case focusing on the issues of communication and transfer problems to a case which features the safeguarding of older adults.
Liz says: ‘Each example is firmly grounded in a clinical practice offering, vignettes and practical tips as situation based learning. They illuminate the reality of practice issues but attempt deal with them in a constructive way.’
There is of course plenty in Timely Discharge for an acute professional, the four chapters written by Liz herself are all drawn from her experience on the AMU. However, Liz worked hard to ensure that areas of the hospital are represented.
Working hard is an integral part of Liz’s life; she planned, sourced and edited the book while employed on the AMU full-time, not to mention she is currently writing her PhD thesis. Plus her recent trip to Australia to talk about discharge planning. No doubt all she wants now is a rest, perhaps for a year, maybe two? No. She’s already planning her next book. It will be her third publication on discharge planning, and this time she’ll be taking it worldwide.