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“Show me the way to go home” – lessons and next steps for effective Discharge to Assess and Home First systems

9th June 2022


The widely agreed principle across health and social care of facilitating people’s rapid discharge from hospital, with receipt of on-going recovery and reablement based support in their own home, has been around for several years, and a number of examples of effective arrangements have been documented by Professor John Bolton. In March 2020, just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government announced national changes to the arrangements for the discharge of patients from hospital, with the roll-out of Discharge to Assess (D2A). This was to become a key enabler for ensuring that there was sufficient bed capacity to cope with the anticipated unprecedented influx of people requiring hospitalisation.

Over the last two years, we have seen D2A continue to form a key response to maintaining the timely flow of people through hospitals and back to the community. However, the National Discharge Fund created by the Government to support the implementation of the approach came to an end on 31st March this year. Against this reduction in budgets, the requirement is now for organisations to continue to develop and maintain the ethos, resources and the all important working relationships necessary to deliver effective recovery outcomes for those people leaving hospital.

Philip Provenzano, Assistant Director, and Melanie Henwood, Associate Consultant will share some of the good practice and lessons learnt by systems across England by drawing on the findings from a number of recent projects reviewing D2A arrangements as highlighted in their recent briefing paper. They will explore the factors associated with greater success, and the challenges to health and care systems trying to maximise patient flow while securing optimum outcomes and independence for patients and their families.


This workshop will be relevant for health and social care colleagues who have an interest in contributing to and hearing from others particularly around: characteristics of system design; commissioning; performance management, and effective working relationships.


This workshop will present a summary of findings and observations from recent projects and provide significant time for facilitated small group discussions, encouraging participants to share their own experience of good practice and offer solutions to challenges.

Workshop format

The workshop will be delivered online and will feature a blend of presentations and smaller group discussions to enable participation by all delegates.