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Keywords:

  • communication;
  • discharge planning;
  • older people;
  • patient and carer involvement

Summary

  • Discharge of older people from hospital has been an area of concern for over 20 years.
  • The present emphasis on rapid throughput of patients in acute care settings is likely to exacerbate existing problems.
  • Improving current practice will mean addressing a number of complex issues to do with communication between agencies and professions.
  • Despite different welfare systems, many of the challenges of discharge planning are shared in different countries.
  • This paper describes attempts to involve patients and carers in discharge planning in Sweden and the UK and identifies a number of areas which require attention if the ideals of patient and carer empowerment are to be achieved.