Guide to hospital discharge Guide to hospital discharge
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Guide to Hospital Discharge

If you or a relative has a fall serious enough to be taken to A&E it can be extremely stressful. If you know how to navigate the system it can make your life a lot easier and get you back home as fast as possible.

Before you Leave Hospital (Discharge Planning)

Hospital staff should provide you with information about the discharge process. This will include an expected date of discharge (EDD) to be reviewed on a regular basis. Until you are fit and safe to be discharged and any care package or equipment that is needed to make you safe at home is put in place you will not be discharged.

  • Any extra help, such as visits from a district nurse or paid home help is arranged
  • Any equipment is fitted, such as a raised toilet seat or personal alarm
  • Any home adaptations are made, like grab rails in the bathroom or ramps to steps

The Discharge Plan

Hospital staff will produce a discharge plan and give a copy to you. This will also be forwarded to your GP and care home if you are being discharged to one. You may be assigned a discharge coordinator to help if your case is complex. The plan will contain information about your condition, medicines and useful contacts. It will also include arrangements for continuing care support and equipment such as grab rails or personal alarms.

What Might You be Entitled to?

NHS Continuing Healthcare

This is for people with complex health needs and allows free social care paid for by the NHS. These applications can be fast tracked if you are terminally ill. Being assessed for Continuing Healthcare can be a complex process, Beacon gives free, independent advice about this topic.

Local Authority Care Needs Assessment

You have the right to an assessment of your care needs by the local authority. The care needs found in this assessment may be paid for by you or by the council depending on the situation. You can also self assess the care you or a person you care for needs.

Local Authority Funding Care Costs

This is means tested. It depends on the local authority so do get in contact with them in any case. Generally, if you have savings or assets larger than the amounts below you will have to pay in full for your own care.

England - £23,250

Wales - £24,000 (care at home) or £50,000 (care in a care home)

Scotland- £27,250

Northern Ireland - £23,250

Carers Assessment

If there is a carer involved they are entitled to a carers assessment. This can help them with support, advice, help with respite care, gardening, housework and even taxi fares if they do not drive.

Reablement or Intermediate Care for up to 6 Weeks

Reablement is short term support which can be free for up to six weeks. This helps you get out of hospital as early as possible, maximise your recovery and prevents you moving into a care home or going back into hospital. This sort of support could be from care staff, nurses, OTs, physios, social workers or even doctors.


Equipment at Home

There are many helpful pieces of equipment that can help you stay independent at home. This could be anything from grab rails to personal alarms. Make sure you explore the different options available. The council will have a limited selection and you could improve things with some very small changes.

Learn about how to choose a personal alarm using our Guide to Choosing a Personal Alarm

Leaving Hospital - A Checklist

  • Have you or your carer been given sufficient notice of your discharge date/time?
  • Are you wearing, suitable clothes for the journey?
  • Is hospital transport needed for you to get home?
  • Do you have your keys and money if travelling home alone?
  • Do you have your medications that you will need at home? It may have changed since admission and this should be explained to you and your carer.
  • Will any aids or equipment be there when you get home and do you understand how to use them?
  • Do you have a supply of continence products to take home as agreed, know when to expect the next delivery, and how to order supplies?
  • Is your GP aware of your discharge date and the support you need from them?
  • Has a discharge summary with details of any medication changes been forwarded to your GP practice?

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