Kingston is among the best boroughs in the country for helping patients get discharged from hospital on time.

Figures released by the NHS and Kingston Council (RBK) showed that the local authority is in the top 20 performing councils in England for assisting patients being discharged from hospital.

According to the data, the number of social care delayed transfers of care (DToC) days in Kingston fell rapidly over the last two years, with an 85 per cent reduction since 2016/17.

RBK says this is due to a close working relationship it has established with Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

This is thanks in part to the establishment of a 'Joint Assessment Discharge (JAD) team', that enables timely discharges of people from hospital.

Meanwhile, the borough's mental health social care team have worked more closely with colleagues at Tolworth Hospital to minimise psychiatric hospital DToCs.

The methodology seems to be working.

According to NHS England data, there were 1,285 delayed days due to social care in Kingston in 2016/17, with the number falling to just 183 in 2018/19.

This put Kingston in the top three boroughs in London and among the top 20 authorities in England in the last year.

Councillor Kim Bailey, portfolio holder with responsibility for adult social care, highlighted the benefits of discharging patients from hospital on time and getting them back into their communities.

"Staying in hospital unnecessarily can affect patients’ mood and motivation, while there can also be an increased risk of infection.

"It’s therefore important to get people back in their own homes and communities as soon as possible in order for them to maximise their independence.

"These figures are a huge step in the right direction for Kingston and I’m very pleased that there has been such a reduction in delayed transfers of care rate," she said.

Mairead McCormick, Chief Operating Officer, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, agreed.

She said that the closer working relationship with RBK had made a "huge difference" to discharge times.

"Working jointly with our partners in Kingston Council has made a huge difference to ensuring our patients are not unnecessarily delayed in hospital.

"It’s a great example of working together to achieve better outcomes for our local population and we are extremely proud of these achievements."

Cllr Bailey concurred, adding that the JAD team, wanted to drop the current figure even further in the future.

"Our teams in adult social care and mental health have worked tirelessly with Kingston Hospital and South West London Mental Health Trust staff in building a strong and efficient relationship in dealing with complex cases.

"However, we want to keep going in the right direction and are fully committed to getting this figure even lower going forward.”