Leaving hospital

Preparing for discharge

We know you will want to go home as soon as possible. As soon as your doctor is happy with your recovery he or she will discharge you.

While you are in hospital have a think about the treatment you have received and how it may have changed the way you will need to do things at home, even temporarily. Then ask your relatives or carers to help you prepare for your discharge to make your return home as comfortable as possible.

It may be a good idea to print this page to take with you as a quick reference guide when you are ready to leave.

Things to think about in preparation for your discharge from hospital:

  • Will you need food supplies at home?
  • Will you need to change simple things like moving trip hazards and rugs or moving the milk to the top of the fridge, taking the tea and coffee out of a high cupboard to avoid injury or relocating your plates and cups?
  • Will you or your carer be able to manage when you return home?
  • If you live alone, can you arrange for a relative or friend to check that your home is ready for your return and to call you soon after you arrive home?
  • Will you have housing problems on discharge?
  • Will your home need to be adapted to meet your changing needs long-term?
  • Are you likely to be homeless when you leave, or soon after leaving hospital?
  • Will you need help with personal care?
  • Will you need home help to do your shopping, housework, meals or laundry?
  • Will you want meals on wheels?

If you think you may need support at home ask a member of the ward staff to arrange for you to speak to a social worker, who will normally be present at ward round meetings.

When you leave

Before you leave hospital, staff will help you to plan your departure and will give you advice on how to take care of yourself. You may need details about your condition, medication and the treatment that you will need once you are back at home. Depending on your diagnosis, dieticians, occupational therapists and physiotherapists will be available to help before you leave the hospital. Staff will also tell you about follow up appointments, rehabilitation and support services that can help with problems you may have after leaving hospital. Sometimes patients need help with health and social care once they get home. A social worker will visit you if you have additional needs.

Dont forget!

  • To ask your nurse for any medical certificates you need and any valuables you handed in for storage before you go. 
  • A copy of your discharge medications will be included with your tablets. You will need to take this to your GP to enable your records to be updated.
  • We also recommend that if you are a day patient and having any form of sedation that you arrange for someone to take you home.
  • To empty your locker and take all personal belongings home with you. Did you ask a member of staff to look after anything for you during your stay? Now is the time to get this back and return it to your personal belongings.
  • To take care of yourself once you get home.  

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