Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Delayed transfer from hospital to community settings: the older person's perspective

Buy Article:

$69.00 + tax (Refund Policy)


Prevention and management of delayed transfer of older people from hospital to community settings is an enduring issue in industrialised societies and is the subject of many recent policies in the United Kingdom. A deeper, evidence-based understanding of the complex organizational and interprofessional issues which contribute to delays in transfer has emerged in recent years. Despite this, and the relative success of recent policies, two recent reviews of the area highlight the lack of studies on patients’ perspectives. We sought to address this deficit by using conversational interviews and a phenomenological approach to explore and interpret participants’ perceptions of delayed transfer from hospital into the community. A purposive sampling strategy was employed to incorporate participants from different categories of delay identified on weekly Situation Reports. Participants aged 65 years and over (mean age 82 ± 5.4 years) and with a mean delay of 32 days (± 26) were recruited from three hospitals based in two NHS Trusts in the South of England. This paper focuses on their perceptions of the effects of delayed transfer into the community, their involvement in discharge planning and future community care needs. Our findings show that participants actively or passively relinquished their involvement in the processes of discharge planning because of the perceived expertise of others and also feelings of disempowerment secondary to poor health, low mood, dependency, lack of information and the intricacies of discharge planning processes for complex community care needs. Participants expressed a longing for continuity, emphasised the importance of social contact and sometimes appeared unrealistic about their future care needs. While current policies may have helped reduce overall numbers of delayed patients in the UK, our study suggests that there is scope for improvement in the involvement of delayed patients in planning their discharge into the community.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: community care; delayed transfer; discharge planning; older people; qualitative research

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of England, Glenside Campus, Blackberry Hill, Stapleton, Bristol, BS16 1DD, and 2: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of England, Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, GL19 3BE, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2009

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more