Social Care Assessment, Discharge and Withdrawal


Overview: Social Care Message Specification

The Social Care Message Specification defines a number of messages to support the exchange of structured information between healthcare and social care organisations.

The specification currently covers the following information flow:

  • Transfers of care from hospital to social services for patients with care and support needs.

The requirements for this information flow are defined in the regulations under the Care Act 2014. The Act describes a series of notices that must be sent from hospitals to adult social services to support the discharge of hospital patients who have care and support needs. The notices are defined as follows:-

  • Assessment Notice

This is used by the hospital to inform social services that an assessment of the patient's care and support needs is required. Where known, it includes an expected discharge date.

  • Discharge Notice

Following the issue of an Assessment Notice, a Discharge Notice is sent by the hospital to social services to confirm the patient's proposed discharge date.

  • Withdrawal Notice

This is used to withdraw a previously issued Assessment Notice and/or Discharge Notice. A Withdrawal Notice may be required to be issued for a number of reasons, for example because the patient's medical condition has changed or the patient is eligible for NHS Continuing Health Care.

NHS Digital has developed an Information Standard SCCI2075 that defines the minimum data sets that must be used for Assessment, Discharge and Withdrawal Notices, based on the regulations under the Care Act 2014. The Information Standard also defines a generic Notice Receipt data set that must be used to send an acknowledgement of a received notice from social services to the originating hospital. The data sets in the Information Standard have been used as the basis for the messages defined in this message specification.

This specification also supports the following message:

  • Admission Notice

This is used by the hospital to inform social services that the patient has been admitted into hospital. This is a "fire and forget" message, so there is no response from the social services back to the hospital.

    The FHIR resources are bundled together to construct:

    • Admission Notice
    • Assessment Notice
    • Assessment Notice Accept Response
    • Assessment Notice Reject Response
    • Discharge Notice
    • Discharge Notice Accept Response
    • Discharge Notice Reject Response
    • Withdrawal Notice
    • Withdrawal Notice Accept Response
    • Withdrawal Notice Reject Response

    Further Information

    This FHIR Messaging specification is based on and intended to be used alongside the published FHIR DSTU2 1.0.2 (October 2015) specification.