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Patient safety alert on risks arising from breakdown and failure to act on communication during handover at the time of discharge from secondary care

A patient safety alert has been issued by NHS England as part of its work to improve the quality and timeliness of communication with primary and social care when patients are discharged from hospital.

NHS England is asking organisations for information about their current local practices and challenges that will help form a national picture around handover at discharge. They are also being asked to provide examples of successful local initiatives designed to improve their discharge handover processes. In addition, other groups including GPs, community nurses, social care, voluntary sector and medicines reconciliation are being asked to share their views on how the process can be improved.

This information will be used by NHS England to develop a range of resources and recommendations to help healthcare providers to improve patient safety around handover at a local level.

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