Author Identifier

Judith Dianne Pugh

ORCID : 0000-0002-1835-1330

Margaret Giles

ORCID : 0000-0002-3260-6811

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Health and Social Care in the Community




School of Nursing and Midwifery / School of Arts and Humanities




Department of Health, Western Australia


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of:

Pugh, J. D., McCoy, K., Needham, M., Jiang, L., Giles, M., McKinnon, E., & Heine, K. (2022). Evaluation of an Australian neurological nurse‐led model of postdischarge care. Health and Social Care in the Community, 30(4), e962-e973.


Neurological disorders are a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, placing a heavy demand on health systems. This study evaluated the impacts and cost savings of a community-based nursing service providing supported discharge for neurological patients deemed high-risk for unplanned emergency department presentations and/or hospital readmissions. It focused on adult patients with stroke, epilepsy, migraine/headache or functional neurological disorders discharged from a Western Australian tertiary hospital. An observational design was used comprising prospective enrolment of patients receiving nurse-led supported discharge and follow-up (Neurocare), 21 August 2018 to 6 December 2019 (N = 81), and hospital administrative data, 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2018, for patients in previous care model (N = 740). Healthcare utilisation and annualised cost savings from reduced rehospitalisation and/or emergency department presentations within 28 days post discharge were compared. Neurocare patients’ postdischarge functional and health-related quality of life outcomes, and perceived involvement in self-management and integrated care were surveyed. The hospital's total cost savings are A$101,639 per annum and A$275/patient/year with a return on investment of 2.01. There was no significant difference in hospital length of stay (LOS) between models, but older age was associated with longer length of hospital stay and a predictor for non-neurological readmissions. Neurocare patients showed improved functional status, less equipment and/or service needs, improved health-related quality of life. They felt involved in self-managing their condition with well-integrated postdischarge care. This nurse-led model of transitional care for neurology patients discharged from hospital produced cost savings and a positive return on investment compared with usual care. With service maturity, earlier supported hospital discharge and reduced LOS may follow. Patients’ reduced service needs and improved functional status and health-related quality of life may positively impact healthcare utilisation. Future research should include larger patient samples and multiple sites.



Available for download on Monday, July 31, 2023