Co-ordination of care on discharge from hospital into the community for patients with HIV/AIDS in Lothian
Authors: Huby, G.O., van Teijlingen, E., Porter, A.M. and Bury, J.
Journal: Health Bulletin (Edinb,)
OBJECTIVE: To document service use by people living with HIV/AIDS discharged from hospital, to identify gaps and overlaps in service provision after discharge, and to evaluate liaison between hospital-based and community-based services. DESIGN: Four week follow-up diary and interview study of service users, and interview/questionnaire study of service providers. SETTING: Services used by people discharged from the wards of two units of two Lothian hospitals. SUBJECTS: All patients with HIV infection admitted to the wards of two units of two Lothian hospitals from October 1992 to February 1993, and their service providers. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: General practitioners were the most contacted service post discharge, but general practitioners did not appear to play a co-ordination role in service provision. Liaison on discharge was found to be effective in terms of continuity of care in most cases; and from a service user perspective, liaison between hospital and primary care agencies did not appear a major concern. The majority of hospital discharges were organised in a setting with a large number of services, with complex communication patterns and informal procedures of discharge arrangements. This created uncertainty among service providers as to the arrangements which had been made, and fear and anxiety that they fall through. On the other hand, the informality of discharge procedures also ensured flexibility and responsiveness to unexpected events and changes in service users' circumstances and was a vital factor in continuity of care experienced by them. A more important issue for service users was the poor integration of services concerned with social/material support in the system of medical and emotional care
Preferred by: Edwin van Teijlingen