A high proportion of the incidents which result in death which are reported to the National Reporting and Learning Service by the Mental Health Trusts in England relate to problems associated with the discharge of a patient.
Incidents can occur where the hospital has discharged a patient but the Community Mental Health team are unhappy because they consider the patient to be too high a risk, either to themselves, to others or both.
Problems can also occur that relate to a breakdown or failure with communication. Common examples are:
- The quality of the discharge information
- The availability, quantity or accuracy of the information for receiving personnel such as GPs, continuing care teams or the district nurse
It may also be the case that when the patient is discharged they need to be referred back to the Community Mental Health team but the hospital do not put this in place and the patient doesn’t receive the care in the community that they need.
The possibility of a clinical negligence claim depends entirely on an individual’s circumstances, but the risks are increased when these types of situation occur.