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Leaving Hospital

Carers Policy

Your discharge home starts at the point you are admitted to hospital. 

We need your help in planning how you will leave the hospital, where you may be transferred to, and to ensure you get the best ongoing care once you are ready to leave hospital.

If your discharge is planned, you will be able to leave hospital knowing that any future care you may need has already been arranged. 

As soon as you are fit to leave hospital, you may be returning home, going to a rehabilitation unit or residential/nursing home or to live with your family. 

Why does my discharge need to be planned whilst I am still being treated in hospital?

If your discharge is planned beforehand, you will be able to leave hospital knowing that any future care for you has already been arranged. As soon as you are fit to leave hospital, you may be returning home, going to a rehabilitation unit or residential/nursing home or to live with your family. Your health may actually deteriorate if you stay in hospital for longer than is necessary after your medical treatment has been completed, and this is shown by recent research.

Who will be involved in planning my discharge from hospital?

  • The nurse in charge of the ward will be the key person to help you plan your discharge;
  • A discharge co-ordinator may also help if your discharge is complicated;
  • With your permission, we will also consult your family or carers

If you are going to require additional support you may also see the following people:

  • a physiotherapist, who assess and help maximise your abilities;
  • an occupational therapist, who will assess your ability to cope at home, and also your requirements for any equipment or aids you may need;
  • a district nurse, who may attend to any nursing care requirements;
  • any other specialist who may be involved in your care.

You may also need to be referred to social services for further assistance, and your permission will be needed to do this.

Where will I go?

Home

Wherever possible, we want to help you return to your own home. If you need special care to do so, the ward staff and therapists will work with Social Services to try and organise this.

The Intermediate Care Team may be able to support you if you require rehabilitation at home or have short-term care. Social Services may be able to provide the appropriate care at home for longer-term needs.

Residential Care/Nursing Home 

After an assessment by the hospital team, it may become apparent that it will not be possible for you to return home, and that you will get the best care in a residential or nursing home. Whether this will be funded through Social Services or by meeting the costs yourself, we will make sure that you have the correct information to choose the best home for yourself. We hope you will be able to move into a Nursing or Residential home within two or three days of identifying a vacancy. If you want to go to a specific Nursing or Residential home, we will try our best to help you arrange this. However, if that home does not have the space, we will ask you to put your name on a waiting list and to take a place in another home, until the home of your choice has a vacancy. We do this because a hospital bed is simply not the best place for you to stay once the doctor has decided you are fit to leave.

What about transport?

You should make your own transport arrangements to take you home. However, if you are not medically well enough, hospital transport can be arranged. On the day of discharge, we need you to leave the ward by 10am. If this is not possible, we will transfer you to the discharge lounge where your care needs will continue to be met.

What information will I be given?

You will receive:

  • A discharge pack, providing confirmation about the arrangements that have been made for your discharge.
  • Details of the telephone numbers you may need if you require any further information once you have left hospital.

You may be given:

  • An appointment card if a doctor needs to see you in the outpatient department, after you have been discharged.
  • Two weeks supply of tablets if required, with a letter to give to your GP so they can arrange your new repeat prescription. Your GP will be sent a list of the tablets that you are taking home with you.
  • A letter to give to the district nurse if a visit has been arranged for you, together with their telephone number, and any dressings you may require.

If at any point during your stay in hospital, you need any further information about your care, or the arrangements that are being made to help you leave hospital, the staff looking after you will be pleased to help.

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