Getting home from hospital
We aim to help patients safely return to their own home as soon as they are well enough to do so. Hospitals are the right place to be for specific treatment however when this has been completed it is important patients return home with the right care in place. Staying in hospital longer than necessary is not in the patient’s best interests and research shows that recovery is often much quicker at home.
Did you know?
- 10 days in hospital leads to the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles of people over 80 - Gill et al (2004)
Planning for discharge
When patients arrive in hospital a care plan will be developed which includes an expected date for discharge and a discharge plan based on their individual needs. Staff will work towards this as much as possible but it will be regularly reviewed and may change based on the patient’s progress.
Staff have regular discussions with patients about their care. To help patients understand why they are in hospital and how long they can expect to be there they should know the answers to the following questions:
- What is the matter with me?
- What is going to happen today?
- What is needed to get me home?
- When am I going home?
We respect our patients’ time and will do everything we can to reduce unnecessary waits in hospital. To do this we believe patients should know what’s going to happen to them each day to help get them home as soon as it is safe to do so.
When planning for discharge, assessments will be done to look at the support an individual needs in order to go home safely and a care plan will be put in place to ensure the right level of support at home. Patients and their families or carers are fully involved in this process.
On the day of discharge
We will try to get patients home in time for lunch to help them and their families or carers plan effectively. Ward staff will help patients consider what arrangements they need to make before they leave hospital. If family or carers have any concerns they should raise these as early as possible.
The NHS website have lots more information about leaving hospital.