2018 Community Hospitals Project – Results published

NHSBN Community Hospitals Infographic.PNG

We are pleased to share that the publication of the 2018 Community Hospitals project report and toolkit, presenting the results of this year’s benchmarking project is now available on the members’ area.

In 2018, to reduce the data burden for Network members, data for the Community Hospitals project was collected as part of the National Audit of Intermediate Care (NAIC). The Community Hospitals findings this year focus solely on older people’s wards for general rehabilitation, in line with NAIC. There was also an opportunity for participants to complete the Service User Audit, included in the NAIC, which features a Service User Questionnaire (SUQ) and a Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM). NAIC 2018 was funded by NHS England, NHS Wales and the Public Health Agency and Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland. 

The services’ performance can be compared on the full range of metrics on access, activity, workforce, finance and quality metrics using the online benchmarking toolkit accessible via the members’ area of the Network website.

In total, 159 community hospitals from 64 organisations supplied information for the project, with participation expanding across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Highlights for 2018 include:

  • 7-day services: Findings from the project evidence that 97% of older people’s wards are open to new admissions 365 days per year. Of those, 49% offer a 24/7 full service. Find out more about dedicated medical cover on weekdays and weekends in the report and on the toolkit.

  • Mental health provision: The majority of hospital wards will accept service users with a cognitive impairment (89%); with findings showing that 52% of participants can directly refer to mental health services.

  • Waiting times: The average waiting time from referral to commencement of service is 2.3 days. Evidence suggests that a longer waiting time can reduce the ability to benefit from rehabilitation for an older cohort of service users.

  • Bed occupancy: Bed occupancy rates remain high at 90%, consistent with reporting from previous years. The average length of stay remains just under one month, at a duration of 25 days.

  • Destination on discharge: 60% of service users are discharged home, with 15% being discharged to an acute hospital. The NAIC dataset provides further insight into destination on discharge.

  • Patient Experience: Service users continue to report a positive experience of their stay in community hospitals. Findings also detail that 87% always had confidence in the staff providing.

The Community Hospitals project is expected to run in the 2019/20 programme separate from the NAIC data collection. If you have any questions or comments about the project, please contact Lucy Trubacik. To request access to the members’ area, or find out more about Network membership, please contact enquiries@nhsbenchmarking.nhs.uk.