Prior to leaving hospital, you will need to:
- make sure that arrangements have been made for your return home, such as travel plans or a relative or friend to stay with you if necessary.
- make sure you have any drugs or medicines which you need to take at home, and check that you understand the instructions on the container. You will be given two copies of your prescription – one for you and one to hand to your family doctor.
- if you are an inpatient claiming incapacity benefit or statutory sick pay, ask for an inpatient medical certificate.
- make sure you have any equipment that you are to take home on loan. You will be asked to sign a receipt for this and to return equipment straight away when you no longer need it.
- return any items such as library books or DVDs.
- give the ward staff a forwarding address for mail.
- check that you have the contact details of your specialist nurse(s) and/or key worker in case you have any questions or worries when you are at home.
Your length of stay in hospital will be estimated when you are admitted and your medical team will review this each day. It is possible that we may not know whether you will be ready to leave hospital until the day itself.
We ask patients to leave the ward by 10:00 on the day they are due to leave. If you need to wait beyond that time you may be asked to wait elsewhere in the hospital.
We will let your family doctor know that you have left hospital within a day or two.
Support at home
During your stay in hospital, a nurse will talk with you and anyone else involved in your care about how you are being supported at home. Please let the nurse know if you have already arranged care at home. If you think you need more help when you go home, the nurse will talk with the Discharge Support Team, made up of discharge coordinators and welfare rights advisers, about how best to plan and organise it. The welfare rights adviser can give you information and advice on housing, employment, welfare benefits and other financial difficulties.
An information booklet called Support at home is available from the Help Centre.
If you need a medical certificate for work to cover the time you spend in hospital (as an inpatient) please speak to a nurse in the area you are attending.