RCP Acute care toolkit 1: Handover
Handover is the system by which the responsibility for immediate and ongoing care is transferred between healthcare professions. Changing work patterns mean that establishing standards for handover should be a priority.
Patients expect, and should have, a designated consultant and nurse to coordinate the multidisciplinary team. However, at times (eg night, weekends or during an emergency admission) the responsibility for care must pass from one team, or consultant, to another.
This toolkit focuses on handover, defining good handover, looking at the current problems often experienced, and setting out recommendations for improved, standardised handover protocols. Also provided are two templates, a handover proceedings sheet and a form for out-of-hours handover, which can help staff to implement the recommendations of the toolkit.