Twelve Days of Discharge

Sarah Cavanagh, Deputy Director, Medicines Use and Safety Team, Specialist Pharmacy ServiceExample from Kettering General Hospital Published
Non-SPS content · This content has not been generated nor formally reviewed by SPS

Non-SPS content is present where SPS believes that the content supports our end-users’ work, and is credible and trusted. Non-SPS content is posted in collaboration with the non-SPS author; however, it has not been generated nor formally reviewed by SPS


Summary of the example

A youtube video was created to promote a safe discharge process.  The video was launched during the festive period using the catchy ‘12 days of discharge’ title to encourage viewing and engagement by all staff. The message is clear and could be utilised throughout the year to facilitate safe discharges for all patients with a particular emphasis on medicines management. The video will be used again during 2018 to embed the learning from this message.

Why we think it’s important

The discharge process is recognised as being an area for improvement for effective communication from the hospital setting to the community.  It is the responsibility of all staff that the discharge information is accurate and informative and therefore an important factor for patient safety.  It was also used to highlight the multifaceted components of the discharge process and how all of these must be considered when conducting a discharge.  When this is achieved, the patient will have a well-constructed discharge and the primary care setting will receive all of the relevant information to ensure the continuation of care.

Learn more about the example

Aims and objectives of the work

The ‘12 days of Christmas video’ was shown during the Christmas period, to promote safer discharge.  An emphasis was placed on medicines management at the transfer of care.  The video was used as a promotion for all staff to facilitate the safe discharge of patients to their primary setting.

The aim was to promote the safe discharge process in a creative way which would capture the audience and allow the key message to be understood and transferred into practice.


The video was filmed on the hospital site using hospital staff, making it feel personal to the viewer and ensuring good engagement from all.  The staff members involved were from all grades and departments throughout the hospital, providing the viewer with the message that this relates to the entire multidisciplinary team and all grades of staff.

Key findings

The impact and outcomes of the video was collected by conducting twelve structured interviews with pharmacy and nursing staff. A reflective style cycle was used as a model for these interviews, which allowed staff to assess how the video has impacted on their practice and has changed their practice within their workplace.

The twelve interviews highlighted that both nursing and pharmacy staff found the video to be very informative as well as innovative. The repetitive message was felt to be particularly helpful in promoting medication safety on discharge.  This enabled the key points to be recognised, understood and remembered.

Other findings:

  • Nursing staff said that it was a helpful reminder of the discharge process and the expectations of the team.
  • Some nurses felt that the message described what their practice should already include. Others said that it has reminded them of the proactive action that needs to be taken with discharging patients safely concerning medication and primary care planning.
  • Pharmacy staff felt that the video has empowered them when discussing discharges within the multidisciplinary team by informing them of the process for a safe discharge. It also enabled more collaborative working between the services as it provides information regarding everybody’s responsibility with safe discharges.
  • The video been used as a teaching aid for new staff making them aware of the stages involved with a safe discharge. This has been well received and the intended good humour has helped embed the learning. The video has also been used during some team briefs as a reminder of the discharge process.
  • Using the video in this way has increased staff confidence and competence in the discharge process and incorporate their learning into their daily working lives.


National guidance, data and publications

National guidance is available from:

  • Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • NICE
  • The Care and Support (Discharge of Hospital Patients) Regulations 2014

Links are provided below.