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Preparing to go home

If your stay in hospital was arranged in advance, for example for a planned operation, your consultant or nurse will already have explained to you how long you can expect to stay.

You may be taken to the discharge lounge before you leave hospital, click here for more information.

If you are admitted as an emergency, we will talk to you about the investigations and treatment you might need. As soon as we are able to, we will tell you how long your stay in hospital is likely to be.

We will start to plan your discharge on the day of admission. Talk to a member of the ward team as soon as you can if you are worried about managing when you go home. We will need a short time to sort out any help you might need.

Please ask if you are worried or unclear about any aspect of your care or treatment, including plans for your discharge. We will be pleased to answer your questions.

If you think there may be problems, please speak to anyone from the ward team straight away.

As part of planning your discharge a ‘community care assessment’ (undertaken by a member of the social work team) may be necessary. The aim is to see if you can return home once your medical treatment is completed (with the right sort of help), or if you need a period of care in another setting (including a care home).

We know you will not want to stay in hospital any longer than necessary. Once you are well enough we will help you to leave as quickly as possible, with the help that you need to manage this safely.

Before you leave hospital we will talk to you about:

  • Follow-up appointments that you might need after your hospital stay
  • Referrals to other people, for example, a specialist consultant or district nurse
  • Any medicines that you may need to take home

It is not appropriate for you to stay in hospital any longer than is necessary. If you need rehabilitation it may be provided at home. Alternatively, you may be transferred to a community hospital or other facility.