Preparing to leave hospital
To make sure you're home in good time, discharge planning starts from the moment of your admission.
Discharge planning means that hospital staff will work with you (and your family/carers) to make sure everything is in place for you to safely leave hospital as soon as doctors say you are well enough.
It is important to arrange a safe and timely discharge as your health may actually decline if you stay in hospital for longer than you need to after your medical treatment has been completed.
When you leave hospital, the aim is for you to return home. Occasionally there may be a need for you to be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation unit, a residential or nursing home, or to live with family. Sometimes this can be for a short time or whilst your long term plans are arranged. Each person’s needs differ and we will work with you and our colleagues in the community to agree the best place for you to go. There are many available services to help you make this possible as soon as you are medically fit.
Who will be involved in planning my discharge?
The nurse in charge of your ward will help you plan your discharge. A discharge coordinator may also help you if your discharge is complicated, for example if you are going to need support when you leave hospital. With your permission, we will also contact your family/carers to discuss your discharge.
If you are going to need extra support when you leave hospital we will also contact the following people:
- A physiotherapist, who will assess your physical abilities.
- An occupational therapist, who will assess your ability to cope at home and also if you will need any equipment or aids.
- A district nurse, who may attend to any nursing care requirements.
- Your GP practice, who may help with your ongoing medical care.
- Any other specialist who may be involved in your care.
Before Day of discharge
You or your carer, friend or relative will need to have arranged for:
- Transport home.
- Some outdoor clothes in which you can travel home.
- Your door key to be with you, or someone to be at your home to meet you.
- Any heating turned on at your home during the winter months.
- Any food you need at home to have been organised.
It may also be nice to ask a friend or relative to visit you after you get home to make sure you have everything you need and that you are comfortable. It can often feel daunting to return home after a hospital stay, so a friendly visit may be useful.