What are other secure services doing in terms of gradual unescorted local leave to overnight for discharge planning for service users? Namely: Are they going at all? How long are they isolating for? Are they accepting lateral flow tests or PCR and does them being asymptomatic affect the isolation time? Also, what is the consensus about support bubbles whilst they are out on leave?
We are doing this exact thing right now! However, our patient tested positive for COVID-19 and as there is a 90 day “isolation free” period if you like, he hasn’t had to isolate OR swab on his return from leave. All we are saying is that if he meets up with anyone before total discharge has happened, then social distancing must be adhered to as per government guidelines. We decided as a MDT that a support bubble wouldn’t be possible as he would be spending time in his new supported accommodation, returning to The Humber Centre then potentially having “support bubble” visits from  a family member. It was too much for us to manage as a service as it could get particularly complicated. Humber Centre
We have been having some similar issues, here are some solutions we have used:- We have been giving our patients unescorted hospital ground leave – for our patients we have also extended this into the woodfield community land that is at the side of our hospital grounds – although at the moment we haven’t extended this to local shops but this is under discussion as part of 2 patient’s discharge pathways. For patients who had already started having transition visits – either day visits or overnight visits we have continued with these providing the following:- both units (ours and the one they are going to) are covid free (either symptoms or positive) and for us because (DMBC insisted) the patient had a negative full test (not the lateral) prior to each overnight visit. We haven’t really thought about the support bubble other than treating our patients as living within one bubble. Not sure if this helps however i would like to see what other units are doing as well, especially as this might help support us with the 2 patients i mentioned on discharge pathways. Amber Lodge
We have followed national guidance and kept leave to exercise only. We have prioritised those that require escorted and unescorted for discharge so we do not hold a patients progress any more than Covid is doing. All patients that have leave complete a Covid awareness session Re hygiene, mask , social distancing and what to expect as well as what Covid is and national guidance. We are discharging. We ensure we take a PCR test three days prior to discharge. We then know we are sending a negative patient. Most areas like us are isolating for 7 days on admissions and PCR testing day 1 , day 3 and day 5/6 from admission. We are also working in family bubbles for leaves so patients from the same ward(family) can go on leave together but again in line with national guidance so only x2. Wathwood