Your discharge and an estimated date of discharge (EDD) will be established. This may change depending upon your treatment and progress. If you do not know your EDD please ask the doctors / nurses responsible for your care.
Most people go home from hospital and return to their previous way of life, but other people may require some additional assistance at home, or short or longer term stay in another setting, eg a nursing home or a community hospital. Throughout your stay you will be assessed and your nurse will discuss your discharge plans with you as they progress. It is important for you to highlight any concerns you may have so that they may be addressed at an early stage. If necessary you will be referred to specialists (eg therapists, dieticians) or other 10 health or social care providers or services (eg District Nurse, Adult Care Services etc). These people/agencies will give advice and assistance and to help plan any ongoing care when you have been discharged from our hospitals.
Once your doctor feels you are ready to go home there are a number of things that happen:
- Your health and/or social care arrangements will be finalised, where necessary such as a District Nurse or other specialist
- Your doctor will write to your GP telling him/her of the treatment you have received and recommending any on-going care you will need in the future
- If you need an outpatient appointment – the details will be sent to your home by a follow-up letter
- If you will be re-attending for on-going treatment please check the date before you leave
- If you need medication the pharmacy team will prepare these and you will take them home with you. (Occasionally you may be asked to go home first and collect them later in the day)
- If you require dressings you will be given a supply for a few days
On the day of discharge all your discharge arrangements should be in place by 11am so that your bed can be vacated for another patient. Unless your medical condition or mobility meets the criteria to qualify for hospital transport, you are expected to organise your own transport home. If someone is collecting you then you should arrange a pick-up at this time. Please let your nurse know if you anticipate a delay.
You may be asked to vacate your bed in the morning and wait to go home in the Departure Lounge. The lounge is a comfortable and safe environment staffed by nurses who will ensure that you continue to receive high quality care up until the moment you leave the hospital. Please ensure you have adequate clothing and a set of house keys with which to return home. Please remember to collect all belongings from your ward.
Age Concern offers a hospital discharge support service which provides practical and emotional support. For details, phone 0845 6013446.
Adult Care Services (Hertfordshire) To find out more about social care services and support please so go to our website www.hertsdirect.org or telephone 01438737400. The lines are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays.