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Hospitals given guidelines to improve GP discharge summaries

A toolkit has been launched by the Department of Health to standardize the discharge summaries GPs receive from secondary care within 24 hours.

The interactive guidance was designed with the Royal College of Physicians and the RCGP to improve the accuracy and legibilty of discharge summaries from hospitals.

Professor John Williams, director of the RCP's Health Informatics Unit, said the tool would help implement a national standardised 24-hour electronic discharge summary.

‘This website will help trusts implement the standards we developed, and by doing so improve the quality, accuracy and consistency of information that is passed to GPs, patients and carers. We believe this will bring great benefits to the quality and safety of patient care.'

Charles Gutteridge, national clinical director for informatics at the Department of Health said: ‘This toolkit building on existing national standards and developed with local trusts will help NHS organisations produce key patient information delivered to GPs within 24 hours of discharge.'