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Receiving a handover


  • Initiate introductions

Break ice

  • e.g. β€˜How was your night?’


  • How many to handover?
  • Handover each patient separately using SBAR:

Situation (core details)

  • Patient details (name, DOB, hospital number)
  • Patient location
  • Major problem at the moment

Background (admission and history)

  • Admission details (if inpatient): date, admission reason, treatments
  • Past medical history
  • Β± any other relevant aspects of the history


  • Observations
  • Examination findings
  • Investigations received/pending
  • Management so far


  • Diagnosis/differentials
  • Management plan and outstanding jobs


  • Summarise each patient’s details back to your colleague


  • Thank the doctor handing over

Tips for receiving a handover

  • Try to get all the important details you normally would get from a patient if you had seen them yourself (including exploring symptoms, risk factors and relevant system reviews). Your colleague won’t necessarily remember to hand over all the information without you asking.
  • Don’t just accept their diagnosis
  • Ask if expected management has been done

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