Hospital discharge

Information to help you understand and get the most from the hospital discharge process

What can you expect from the discharge process?

If the person you care for is admitted to hospital, it’s possible that this can effect the needs of both yourself and that person.

There is a process that should be followed within hospitals to ensure a safe hospital discharge:

Patients should be involved in every step of their discharge and discussions about what needs to be put in place should start as soon as possible.

As a Carer, you should also be involved with this, with the permission of the person you care for.

An assessment should be carried out to determine if care needs to be arranged for when a patient returns home and what that care will look like.

It may be that extra personal care is required or equipment is needed to aid recovery. It is important that, as a Carer, you are able to talk about what you can and can’t, reasonably, do. Perhaps the mobility of the person you care for has become restricted due to their hospital stay and you are unable to assist them with moving; this would need to be explained in order to make sure the correct help is put in place.

Advocates are here to help

If you feel you may have difficulty putting your views across, an independent advocate may be able to help.

Once the assessment is complete and if care needs are identified, you should receive a care plan detailing any health and social care needs; your plan should include:

  • The treatment and support you’ll get when discharged
  • Who will be responsible for providing support and how to contact them
  • When and how often support will be provided
  • How the support will be monitored and reviewed
  • The name of the person coordinating the care plan
  • Who to contact if there’s an emergency or things do not work as they should
  • Information about any charges that will need to be paid (if applicable)

Support should be arranged before the patient is discharged and a letter provided for the GP outlining ongoing needs.

Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS)

PALS can help in a number of ways, including helping you to resolve concerns you may have whilst the person you care for is still in the hospital; provide information about the NHS complaints procedure.

PALS can also help should you wish to see a copy of the hospital’s discharge procedure.