Patient experience of Hospital Discharge Pathway Services: Developing an actionable tool for Health and Social Care Professionals

Background: Doncaster CCG and DMBC jointly commissioned evaluation work on the Better Care Fund and a collaboration between Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR), Public Health Hub at Sheffield Hallam University and the School for Health Related Research (ScHARR) at Sheffield University worked to develop the Doncaster Academic Partnership. This partnership was commissioned to develop organisational evaluation capacity around the BCF and also to undertake specific pieces of evaluative work.  A key piece of work was the in depth qualitative evaluation of the Hospital Discharge Pathway and associated discharge pathways (Bashier et al., 2016)


Brief overview of the HDP study: The study followed 20, mainly older patients recently discharged from hospital for a period of 12 months. Patients and relevant stakeholders involved in their case (as appropriate) were interviewed at key points in the patient journey. Detailed case studies and timelines were developed and these are a visual representation of the patient journey.

Mobilising evidence form the study: Each timeline contains research derived key messages for the planning and delivery of health and social care services. However, this is not enough to ensure that the evidence gets into policy and practice. The research team have an interest in and experience of doing this and in particular around the use of pen portraits as the means of mobilising knowledge.

Proposal: We intend to undertake additional depth analysis of patient and carer interviews and produce timelines for use by the NHS and other organisations

·      Identify key characteristics that create risk of patient deterioration and readmission

·      Identify key points in the timelines where appropriate action could be taken.

The above outputs will be developed using co-productive approaches we have previously used (Cooke et al., 2016) and ‘pen portraits' (Tod et al., 2012, 2016)’ or Research Derived Actionable Tool (RDAT) will be developed.

These outputs will be useful within Doncaster but will also be transferable to other places. 

We intend to seek further funding to evaluate the impact of such tools in terms of building the bridge between evidence and practice.

The project team consists of:

·      Professor Angela Tod (School of Nursing, Sheffield University);

·      Jan Gilbertson (Senior Research Fellow, CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University);

·      Professor Jo Cooke (capacity lead, CLAHRC YH);

·     Amanda Stocks (Head of Communication and Engagement, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership)

·      Susan Hampshaw (Public Health Principal, DMBC, Honorary Research Fellow, Scharr).

Partnership and costs: Project costs are approximately £15k and we have secured funding from CLAHRC YH, Doncaster CCG and Doncaster Healthwatch to support this work.

For further information please contact Susan Hampshaw (


Bashier, N. et al. (2016) Doncaster Hospital Discharge Pathway Study : Final Report.

Cooke, J. et al. (2016) ‘Seeing’ the Difference: The Importance of Visibility and Action as a Mark of ‘Authenticity’ in Co-production. 5 (x), 1–4.

Tod, A. M. et al. (2012) Understanding factors influencing vulnerable older people keeping warm and well in winter: a qualitative study using social marketing techniques. BMJ open. 2 (4), e000922. [online]. Available from:

Tod, A. M. et al. (2016) Understanding influences and decisions of households with children with asthma regarding temperature and humidity in the home in winter: a qualitative study. BMJ open. 6 (1), e009636.