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.
Day of discharge
On the day of discharge we will:
- Help you pack your belongings.
- Give you any medication you have been prescribed and explain what it is for and how to take it.
- Discuss with you the details of any follow-up appointments and/0r tests that you might need.
- Provide you with any equipment required, for example a walking aid. We will show you how to use this equipment before you leave hospital.
We expect you and your relative/ carer to arrange for someone to collect you from hospital on your day of discharge.
Hospital transport can be arranged but is available only for those with a specified need.
If you are having difficulties arranging someone to collect you from hospital, please tell the nursing staff as soon as possible.
Patient Discharge Unit
It may sometimes be difficult for family/carers to collect you on the morning of your discharge clay.
The Patient Discharge Unit is a dedicated area in the hospital Where you can wait for your transport and/ or medication. Qualified staff will be there to care for you. The ward nurse will arrange your transfer to the Patient Discharge Unit if you have not been able to leave hospital by 9am on the day of your discharge.
After leaving hospital
There are a range of organisations in Milton Keynes who offer help to people who have just left hospital.
Age UK Milton Keynes
Age UK Milton Keynes runs a free service called Hospital Aftercare, which offers support to older people for up to six weeks after they leave hospital. This includes practical help with transport, food shopping and collecting prescriptions, as well as emotional support. They can also help you get in touch with relevant health and social care professionals.
Their team is based at the hospital so they can visit you on the ward before you leave. Their telephone number is 01908 996 073. More information is also available on their website which can be found here.
You can also download a guide to help you understand the process of being discharged from hospital, the decisions you might be asked to make about support you need when you leave hospital and how you can access the range of services that are available. To view this guide on Age UK's website, please click here.
You can also call Age UK Milton Keynes on 01908 550700.
If you have any medical concerns, then the first point of contact would be your GP surgery.
Adult Social Care Team
If you have returned home from hospital and are finding it difficult to manage, you can call the Adult Social Care Access Team who provide information on what support is available to help you maintain your independence at home. Their telephone number is 01908 253772.
Milton Keynes Council also provide detailed information on their website for social care, including details on approved retailers for buying medical aids for your home.
Intermediate Care Services
Intermediate Care is a joint health and social care service which aims to help patients regain their independence at home and prevent readmission into hospital. There are a range of residential and home-based services available for patients with different needs for up to six weeks. The services will be provided in or as close to home as possible.
These services can be accessed only by health and social care professionals. If you would like further information, please ask a member of hospital staff.