Destination and dependency of psychogeriatric inpatients at discharge from Nottingham hospitals following the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act
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This study examines the impact of the National Health Service (NHS) and Community Care Act on the discharge of patients from inpatient psychogeriatric wards in Nottingham. All inpatients discharged from five psychogeriatric acute assessment wards between April 1 and September 30, 1993 were included in the study. The dependency ofeach patient was assessed using the balance of care method and relationships between dependency and destination at discharge were examined. The dependency status of patients discharged between April 1993 and September 1993 was compared with the dependency and destination at discharge of all inpatients admitted during the corresponding period in the previous year. There was a larger proportion of high-dependency patients admitted in 1993 than in 1992. There was no difference between the two periods in the median length of stay. No association was found between length of stay and dependency, nor between dependency status and destination at discharge. The first 6 months of the implementation of the Act has had negligible impact on discharge activity in these wards as measured by length of stay and destination at discharge.