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NHS Improvement Guide to Criteria Led Discharge

Supported by NHS Improvement Criteria Led Discharge is a process where the clinical parameters for patient discharge are clearly defined using individualized criteria. Once patients meet the criteria a competent member of hospital team can manage their discharge from hospital. If CLD is to be operationalized in acute settings and risks minimized, an approach that facilitates individualization but ensures patient safety, might contribute to improvements such as timely discharge and accelerated patient flow. Improving patient flow, in the context of unrelenting workforce pressures, through emergency and urgent care is an NHS and government priority with many improvement strategies to support this, such as Red to Green, Trusted Assessors and SAFER bundle. Criteria Led Discharge (CLD) is an integral approach to delivering these strategies and reducing length of stay. 

"As NHS staff, we strive to provide the most efficient and high-quality care possible for our patients. The discharge process is key to this, aiming to get patients home as soon as is safe and appropriate for them, and opening up beds for those who need them next. Criteria-led discharge (CLD) is an effective solution which reduces length of stay and empowers staff and patients."

A manager’s guide to criteria-led discharge’ NHS Improvement, October 2019


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