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Hospital improves discharge lounge facilities for patients

Discharge Lounge

Patients at University Hospital of North Durham, who are ready to leave hospital, are now being directed to a newly enhanced discharge lounge, where they can wait for medication, transport and make other last-minute arrangements before going home.

Discharge Lounge

The discharge lounge, located on the ground floor of the hospital, has been extended and improved, offering a much better experience for patients.

Wendy Quinn, associate director of operations, integrated medical specialties, said, "There is a lot of evidence nationally now that if people stay in hospital longer than they need to, then it can actually have a negative impact on their outcome. We know that people recover better and more quickly at home or in their usual place of residence. So, our vision for improving our discharge lounges is really to improve the experience of patients on the final part of their journey with us in one of our acute hospitals and be their next step towards home. 

"We also know that over the winter months we will become busier and the discharge lounges will play an important role in our planning to manage some of the challenges this will bring. By supporting those patients who are well enough to move out of a bed in a busy ward area more quickly, it allows us to use that bed appropriately to care for those patients in most need."  

Improvement works have created a bigger area so more people can be accommodated and in a more comfortable space which enhances privacy and dignity.  There's also a TV if people would like to watch it and refreshments and meals are also available in the lounge. 

Wendy added: "Our priority is providing safe, compassionate, joined up care including a seamless and comfortable transition between hospital and home. Nursing and support staff in the Discharge Lounge continue any care needs patients may have, such as supporting with hygiene, nutrition and administration of medications.

 "The lounge provides a safe and comfortable area for patients and some may only spend a few hours in the area, whilst others might stay for the day. There are both bed and sitting room facilities which helps to ensure that patients continue to receive the care that they need whilst all the appropriate arrangements are put in place to ensure a safe and supported discharge. We also have a similar facility at Darlington Memorial Hospital." 

Funding to create the new facility came from Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group and Sarah Burns, director of commissioning, said, "Our local hospitals provide great care, but we know that getting people home to recover in their own environment is so important.  We're delighted to have been able to support improvements to be made to the discharge lounge at University Hospital of North Durham, knowing that the improved environment will benefit patients on their way home from hospital." 


Published 30th September

'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital