Hinchingbrooke Discharge Lounge created to improve patient experience this winter

Discharge Lounge official opening

Published 20.10.2022

Patients who are ready to be discharged from hospital and no longer need a hospital bed will now be able to wait in a dedicated Discharge Lounge being created at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Patients awaiting medication and discharge letters, can move from the ward to wait in a comfortable space while still being cared for by a nursing team until they are able to leave hospital. This, in turn, frees their hospital bed on the ward to be cleaned and made ready for the next patient.  

The Discharge Lounge will be located on the 1st floor near the Medical Short Stay Unit (MSSU), with easy access for ambulance transport or friends and relatives to collect their loved one. In total, 13 patients will be able to wait there at any one time, with space for 10 chairs and 3 beds and access to refreshments throughout the day.

The Discharge Lounge is one of many initiatives in place to help ensure an improved patient experience as the number of people requiring urgent or emergency care increases over the winter period.

Arshiya Khan, Deputy Chief Executive at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said: “We always see an increase in the number of patients requiring urgent and emergency care over the winter period and as a result we put in place different options to try and ensure this does not negatively impact patient experience.

“The Discharge Lounge is one of many initiatives we have planned as part of our improvement programme for Winter. We are using the learning from the running of the Discharge Lounge at our Peterborough City Hospital site, but we are confident that having this facility at Hinchingbrooke Hospital will mean that we can  ensure a faster turnaround to patients who need a hospital bed.”


Notes to Editors:

Other elements of our improvement plans for Winter include:

  • Flu and covid vaccine programme was recently launched for staff
  • Working with system partners to provide quicker ambulance turnaround times and to redirect patients who may be able to receive support in the community rather than coming into the Emergency Department
  • Opening up additional areas for ambulances to offload patients
  • Creating additional bed capacity and utilising areas of the hospital that are not always in use
  • Working with community partners to ensure patients can receive community care packages quickly
  • Extending our on-site pharmacy opening times to provide prescriptions and avoid delays in getting patients home
  • Increasing the number of doctors available over the weekend to continue to review patients who may be fit for discharge.

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