The Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act 2003
The Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act 2003 required a local authority to make payments to a healthcare provider if the local authority was responsible for the delayed discharge of an NHS patient from that provider.
The liability to pay for delayed discharges would arise in situations where the local authority had not put in place appropriate community care services for a patient, but had assessed that patient as needing support on discharge.
The Act required NHS bodies to notify the relevant local authority of patients who were likely to need community care services on discharge. Once the local authority had been notified, it would be required to conduct an assessment to determine what services needed to be arranged.
They were also required to assess the needs of informal carers to ensure that they were able to safely care for the soon to be discharged patient. The Act also placed local authorities under a duty to keep the needs of the patient and carer under review and, in consultation with health authorities, make changes to services as necessary.
Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act 2003.
The Guardian; 2003.