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NHS SBS Patient Discharge Framework helps reduce pressure on hospital beds

16 February 2021

Patient Discharge Services Framework

Patient Discharge Services FrameworkNHS systems can access additional capacity via £588m hospital discharge scheme

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) has recommended the national Patient Discharge Services Framework, which is managed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), as a route to reducing the length of stay for people in hospital.

With recent reports that more than a fifth of all general and acute beds in England are occupied by patients staying two weeks or more - rising to almost a third in some regions - NHS systems have been encouraged to use the framework to help discharge patients who no longer need to be in hospital.

In a letter outlining the immediate steps NHS systems can take to tackle the issue, NHSEI advises that the NHS SBS framework can be used to secure additional capacity from independent providers of 'hospital at home' and rehab services - and that this can be funded from the £588m hospital discharge 'scheme two' fund up until 31 March 2021.

The Patient Discharge Services Framework can be used by NHS and other public sector organisations to commission support quickly and easily, reducing hospital bed occupancy and relieving pressure on inpatient services.

The two relevant framework lots referred to in the new NHSEI guidance are:

Discharge to Assess Services: to support the recovery and rehabilitation needs of those discharged home.

Medical Care at Home: to support a wide range of subacute health services in a person's home.

Sue Mason, Senior Clinical Adviser at NHS SBS, said:

"This is a uniquely challenging time in the NHS and we are seeing significant pressure on hospital bed occupancy due to Covid-19. It is vitally important, therefore, that patients deemed medically fit for discharge can do so in a safe and timely manner, with the required support network available at point of need.

"The Patient Discharge Services Framework is designed to support this transition and prevent readmissions to hospital, by helping health and care providers to access extra capacity if required. The approved framework suppliers have the experience and capabilities to ensure that patients continue to receive high-quality care after being discharged from hospital."

To find out more contact the NHS SBS Procurement team on 0113 307 1535 or email