The vast literature interpreting the policy implemented during the 1989- 1997 period was drawn upon in formulating the analytical framework to provide a greater depth of understanding of the initiatives and their possible implications for care delivery. Both a quantitative and a qualitative approach were employed with service users whilst solely a qualitative approach was employed with health and social care professionals. The variety of sources and types of data meant that the experience and behaviour of service users during the processes of hospital discharge could be reported as well as possible explanations provided. Lack of control over the sample of service users to whom to administer the postal questionnaire, and the subsequent adoption of a convenience sample, resulted in a very diverse sample in terms of social, demographic and health related variables. Related to health state must be the level and frequency of contact with individual providers of health and social care.