The role of discharge co-ordinator in oncology
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The role of discharge co-ordinator in oncology

Jennifer Spears Senior clinical practice facilitator oncology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London
Carmel Fitzsimons Senior clinical practice facilitator oncology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London
Richard Doran Discharge co-ordinator, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London
Janet Saunders Matron oncology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London
Lina Faria Ward sister oncology inpatients, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London
Kay Eaton Consultant nurse cancer and supportive care, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London

Jennifer Spears and colleagues explain how a new role has improved patients’ experience on the cancer wards with a clearer approach to planning

Aim To explore, develop and support the role of discharge co-ordinator.

Method Data were collected from multiple sources in the framework of an action research study over two years from 2011/13.

Findings Five broad themes emerged: beneficial impact of the introduction of discharge co-ordinator for patients and all those involved in their care; demanding role and complexity of patients’ needs; improved knowledge of the discharge process; communication skills, a personal approach; and the research process.

Conclusion Action research provided a clear framework to evaluate, develop and support a new role in clinical practice. It also provided evidence of the success and benefits of the role for patients and those involved in their care. The findings and approach used would be applicable to other healthcare settings seeking to improve their discharge services for patients or as a means to support the introduction of a new role.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 13, 3,21-26. doi: 10.7748/cnp2014.04.13.3.21.e1040

Correspondence

jennifer.spears@uclh.nhs.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 14 October 2013

Accepted: 05 March 2014