WA Ready to Go Home project: developing solutions to hospital overcrowding
What you need to know
- Lack of accommodation and support options for people with disability leaving hospital is a complex and systemic problem
- The issue leads to delayed hospital discharge for NDIS participants who are ready to go home.
- The WA Ready to Go Home project team is currently working on three pilot projects
- An interim report collating data and information from these pilots will be published later this year.
There are currently around 100 people with disability in WA hospitals experiencing barriers to hospital discharge. The importance of ensuring improved responses and options for people with disability, including NDIS participants remaining in hospital, despite being medically ready for discharge, is a priority focus of this project.
The WA Ready to Go Home project is focused on solutions that support timely hospital discharge for NDIS participants. This three-year initiative is a partnership between NDS and the WA Department of Health through the Chief Allied Health Office (CAHO) and funded by the DSS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Grants.
To develop solutions to this highly complex issue, the project team has been gathering key information and data over the past 12 months. An interim report consolidating this information with potential solutions is scheduled for publication later this year.
Progress so far
In December 2020, the CAHO began collecting data from WA hospitals on patients who were eligible, or likely to be eligible, for the NDIS but experiencing barriers to discharge.
The project team met with allied health clinicians across six different hospital sites. This information provided insight into the internal and external factors that impacted a person awaiting discharge to the community.
In January 2021, a workshop was held by the CAHO (supported by the Ready to Go Home project) with hospital clinicians seeking solutions to the many discharge barriers identified.
In March 2021, a disability service organisation (DSO) stakeholder meeting was held with 45 people attending from 37 different organisations and the WA Health Department. This was an opportunity for shared dialogue to explore the interface with the health system and discuss solutions. Potential solutions from this event are currently informing the strategies implementation.
The WA Ready to Go Home project team is currently working on the following initiatives.
Hospital Stay Guidelines
In partnership with the Disability Health Network and other key stakeholders, the WA Hospital Stay Guidelines for Hospitals and Disability Services are being updated. These guidelines will form a practical resource with tools for patients with disability, families, carers, disability services and hospital staff.
Three current hospital-based pilots are underway, including one metropolitan hospital (mental health ward), one outer metropolitan hospital, and one regional hospital. The project team works on-site with health staff to overcome local barriers to discharge such as housing options, delivering collaborative discharge, and identifying appropriate disability services or supports people with disability to successfully transition to community living.
Disability-related health supports
The project team is facilitating the engagement between the Department of Health and the WA disability sector regarding disability-related health conditions and how health needs are being met within the NDIS environment under appropriate clinical governance. A roundtable discussion is scheduled for 19 July to explore this issue with disability service organisations that deliver allied health and nursing supports.
This project is a Commonwealth-funded Information Linkages and Capacity Building initiative.