Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Buckinghamshire Council and Age UK Buckinghamshire have written to Healthwatch Bucks in response to our report on local people’s experiences of the Buckinghamshire Hospital Discharge Support Service provided by Age UK.

Between 6 July and 12 October 2023, we asked people about the support they received. We published our findings in November.

Recommendations and responses

We made recommendations for:

  • Buckinghamshire Council
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Age UK Buckinghamshire
  • The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB).

In Buckinghamshire Council’s letter to us, Craig McArdle, Corporate Director – Adults and Health Directorate – said:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond and update you on the work that Age UK are delivering on behalf of Buckinghamshire Council, supporting residents to be discharged home from hospital as safely and effectively as possible…

We are aware that the scope of your initial project expanded greatly when you began to collect information and speak with residents and other stakeholders to gather their views and opinions on the Age UK service. The recognition of the different elements of hospital discharge is crucial in enabling us to understand where challenges may arise or to learn from aspects of best practice.

Buckinghamshire Council has also provided additional information in response to our recommendations. To read this, download the response below.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said:

The Healthwatch Bucks Hospital Discharge Support Service report is a valuable insight into collaborative practice to date. It clearly shares where Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s strengths and areas for development relate to people’s experiences of the discharge support service. Through case studies and patient feedback, quality indicators to ensure safe and effective discharge of patients have been commenced across our teams.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has also responded to three specific recommendations we made. You can read about how it plans to address these by downloading the letter below.

In its response to our report, Age UK Buckinghamshire’s CEO Mark Russell said:

We really appreciate and welcome the report you have conducted… We’d like to thank your team and our staff, volunteers and clients for participating in the research, especially as the service is often supporting people during a vulnerable time of transition – physically, mentally and practically.

We are pleased that all the clients you spoke to were either very satisfied or satisfied with the way out team transported them home, and that all our community support clients felt he same way too… Ensuring our service meets commissioner and client expectations is a primary concern, as is looking for ways to enhance and improve the service.

To read Age UK Buckinghamshire’s specific responses to our recommendations, click the download link below.


Buckinghamshire Council’s response to our report

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s response to our report

Age UK’s response to our report

Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) response to our report

Published on 12 Dec, 2023 (updated 3 Jun, 2024)

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