Once people no longer need hospital care, being at home or in a community setting (such as a care home), is the best environment for their continued recovery. However, unnecessary delays in being discharged from hospital are a problem that many people experience.

Remaining as an inpatient places further strain on hospital resources, reduces the number of hospital beds available for new admissions, and puts the patient at higher risk of hospital-acquired infections, loss of mobility, independence and re-admission.

The Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds (Care) Services Framework Agreement can facilitate transfer of patients from hospital beds to a more appropriate level of care, to free-up much needed hospital beds. By discharging patients meeting specific clinical criteria into an appropriate care setting, it reduces instances of re-admission to hospital and enables NHS hospitals and health and care providers to use services like virtual ward support, brokerage, and discharge to assess services – all of which can help them improve patient pathways from acute care to an appropriate care setting.

The Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds (Care) Services Framework Agreement forms a wider solution designed to support digital transformation for better outcomes within the NHS. Find out more here.

This framework agreement was procured in accordance with The Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) 2015. This framework agreement remains a compliant route to market under the new Health Care Services (Provider Selection Regime) Regulations 2023. If you have any questions, please contact the team.

Framework Agreement Information

What dates is the framework agreement active?
17 July 2023 – 16 July 2026
(with an option to extend a further 12 months)

Who can take advantage of the framework agreement?
All Public Sector Organisations across the United Kingdom.

What does this framework agreement cover?
The Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds (Care) Services Framework Agreement offers support to hospitals in the discharge of adults and improves the patient pathway, from acute care to an appropriate care setting. It helps to streamline the transition from hospital to the community/care homes, and therefore reduces delayed transfers of care and unavoidable re-admissions to hospital.

The framework agreement aims to:

  • Facilitate transfer of patients from hospital beds to a more appropriate level of care.
  • Supply additional bed capacity within the NHS urgent care system infrastructure by relieving bed pressures within the local health economy.
  • Discharge patients meeting specific clinical criteria into an appropriate care setting, reducing instances of re-admission to hospital.
  • Allow patients to have personalised one-to-one support maintaining continuity of care. Provide a dedicated pathway to hospital discharge management services.

The framework agreement is structured by the following lots:
Lot 1: Discharge to Assess Services
This lot facilitates patient discharge not only from emergency departments but also from the wider acute hospital and community care settings.

Lot 2: Third Party Brokerage Services
This lot supplies brokerage services for hospital patients whose needs are to be met when they are fit to be discharged from hospital.

Lot 3: Virtual Ward Support Services
This lot supplies a “secondary care” service within a patients care setting for up to 6 weeks. Patients are transferred to the Virtual Ward Support Service following referral from the Trusts’ clinical discharge teams on acceptance by service leads.

Lot 4: Mental Health Step Down Care Beds Services
This lot is focused on securing Mental Health Step Down Care supported placements which must provide safe, rapid assessments with an outcome of accommodation that would support patients who are 18+ currently enduring mental ill-health and are being discharged from an acute ward for a period of up to six weeks.

What are the benefits of using this framework agreement?

  • Reduced length of acute bed stays post medical discharge
  • Support the reduction in acute trust unplanned re-admission rates and generate savings to participating authorities from re-admissions
  • Reductions in cancellations of elective operations because of a lack of bed capacity.
  • Reduce inappropriate discharge of patients during out of hours.
  • Reduce bureaucracy and confusion around Patient Discharge processes which lead to delays for patients and add cost to the system.
  • To facilitate efficient and effective communication and coordination between health and awarded providers within social care in order to meet specific patient needs.
  • Support adequate and timely information which must be shared between services whenever there is a transfer of care between individuals or services.

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Supplier Details

Customer Framework Agreement Portal

Our Customer Framework Agreement Portal allows our customers to:

  • Browse our range of framework agreements, with instant access to all associated documents.
  • Search by keyword to easily find the information you’re looking for.
  • Access support from our team of experts, who can advise on further competitions and answer any questions you might have.

 

Find out what the press had to say about the framework agreement

Health Business Magazine

Easing the squeeze on hospital beds ahead of winter, and building resilience beyond

Read Press Article

National Health Executive

NHS – NHS winter planning continues as new patient discharge framework launches

Read Press Article

Hospital Times

New framework agreement eases squeeze on hospital beds ahead of winter

Read Press Article

Supplier Case Studies

Buckinghamshire Health Trust (BHT) commissioned HomeLink Healthcare to help address its issues with delayed discharges via the NHS SBS NHS SBS Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds (Care) Services Framework Agreement

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