Our recommendations

Mental health: Effectiveness of the planning to discharge people from hospital.

There are clearly pressures on parts of the mental health system and support services that demand urgent attention and, potentially, innovative solutions. In this challenging context, the planning for discharging people dealing with acute mental health problems from hospital needs to be done to a high standard.

We recommend that district health boards:

  1. urgently find ways for inpatient and community mental health teams to work together more effectively to prepare and implement discharge plans, ensuring that all those who need to be – the person to be discharged, family, other carers, and all service providers – are appropriately involved and informed;
  2. help staff by improving the guidance and tools to support discharge planning (including information systems) so that the information needed for discharge planning can be accessed and brought together easily and efficiently; and
  3. regularly review the standard of discharge planning and follow-up work to identify and make improvements.

We recommend that the Ministry of Health and district health boards:

  1. quickly make improvements to how they use information to monitor and report on outcomes for people using mental health services; and
  2. use the information from this monitoring to identify and make service improvements.