Partners At Care Transitions (PACT). Exploring older peoples’ experiences of transitioning from hospital to home in the UK: protocol for an observation and interview study of older people and their families to understand patient experience and involvement in care at transitions

Natasha Haracre, Rebecca Lawton, Laura Sheard, J Murray, Jane Hayhoe, A. Cracknell, Yvonne Frances Birks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Lengths of hospital inpatient stays have reduced. This benefits patients, who prefer to be at home, and hospitals, which can treat more people when stays are shorter. Patients may, however, leave hospital sicker, with ongoing care needs. The transition period from hospital to home, can be risky, particularly for older patients with complex health and social needs. Improving patient experience, especially through greater patient involvement, may improve outcomes for patients and is a key indicator of care quality and safety. In this
research we aim to: capture the experiences of older patients and their families during the transition from hospital to home; and identify opportunities for greater patient involvement in care, particularly where this contributes to greater individual- and organisational-level resilience.
Methods and Analysis: A ‘focused ethnography’ comprising observations, ‘Go-Along’ and semi-structured interviews will be used to capture patient and carer experiences during different points in the care transition from admission to 90 days after discharge. We will recruit 30 patients and their carers from six hospital departments across two NHS Trusts. Analysis of observations and interviews will use a Framework approach to identify themes to understand the experience of transitions and generate ideas about how patients could be more actively involved in their care. This will include exploring what ‘good’ care at transitions look like and seeking out examples of success, as well as recommendations for
Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval was received from the NHS Research Ethics Committee in Wales. The research findings will add to a growing body of knowledge about patient experience of transitions, in particular providing insight into the experiences of patients and carers throughout the transitions process, in ‘real time’. Importantly, the data will be used to inform the development of a patient-centred intervention to improve the quality and safety of transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2017

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© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017.

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