Before you leave hospital, staff will help you to plan your departure and will give you advice on how to take care of yourself.
You may need details about your condition, medication and the treatment that you will need once you are back at home. Depending on your diagnosis, dieticians, occupational therapists and physiotherapists may be available to help before you leave the hospital.
Staff will also tell you about follow up appointments, rehabilitation and support services that can help with problems you may have after leaving hospital. Sometimes patients need help with health and social care after leaving hospital. A social worker will visit you if you have additional needs once you are back at home.
Don’t forget to ask your nurse for any medical certificates you need and any valuables you handed in for storage before you go.
We also recommend that if you are a day patient and having any form of sedation that you arrange for someone to take you home.
Understanding your condition
The following questions might be helpful to ask during your hospital stay. They will help you to understand more about your treatment and when you are expected to be able to go home.
Please ask a doctor at the ward round, or a nurse on your ward, if you don’t know the answer to these questions:-
- What is the matter with me? (e.g. you are being treated for a chest infection)
- What is going to happen today? (e.g. you will have some blood taken)
- What is needed to get me home? (e.g. an X-ray needs to show your condition is improving)
- When am I going home? (e.g. aiming for Saturday morning)
Making sure you have the medication you need
When you are ready to leave hospital, the medications which you still need will be explained to you and you will be given a small supply before leaving the ward. We will give you a green bag with your medications in and also a discharge letter, detailing the medicines that you are going home with. Your GP will also receive a copy of this letter.
When you are back home, you will need to make an appointment with your GP to get any further medication you will need and talk about your ongoing health needs. It’s important to do this before your supply of medication runs out.
Arranging your transport home
When you are ready to leave the hospital you will need to arrange your own transport home. You can arrange for someone to collect you, or travel home either on your own or with someone else in a taxi. Hospital staff can give you contact details of local taxi companies.
Some people will need to leave hospital in an ambulance or “hospital transport”. The hospital team will decide if this is needed and will make the arrangements for you.
Getting ready to go - checklist
If you are going home from the hospital, please use the checklist below to make sure you have everything ready for when you leave. If you are having trouble arranging anything on this list, please speak to the ward staff, who will be able to assist you.
- Do you know your discharge date?
- If you have family or carers, do they know when you are going home?
- Have you arranged how you will be getting home?
- Do you have someone who can take you home?
- Will your home be warm enough? Ask someone to turn the heating on before you get there so that it is at least 18°C.
- Do you have outdoor clothing suitable to travel home in?
- Do you have your house keys or other way to access your home?
- Will you have food and drink available for you at home? Ask someone to buy you enough to get you through the first few days.
- Do you have all the personal items / valuables you came in with (e.g. your glasses)?
- Do you have the number of your GP surgery so you can make an appointment to discuss ongoing medicines you might need.
- Do you have all the equipment and dressings you need?
- Do you have your discharge letter and any other relevant paper work (outpatient appointments/ patient information leaflets)?
There is a discharge lounge at the Royal Infirmary. We provide refreshments in the lounge while you are waiting for transport, relatives or medication to take home. A nurse is available to help with your medical needs and give further advice about leaving hospital.
Discharge lounge details:
| Leicester Royal Infirmary |
|The discharge lounge is on the ground floor of the Windsor building and is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm |
|Phone: (0116) 204 7869 |
Things to Think About
Before you leave hospital, it may help to think about some of the following:
- Will you need food supplies at home?
- Will you or your carer be able to manage when you return home?
- If you live alone, can you arrange for a relative or friend to check that your home is ready for your return and to call you soon after you arrive home?
- Will you have housing problems on discharge?
- Will your home need to be adapted to meet your changing needs?
- Are you likely to be homeless when you leave, or soon after leaving, hospital?
- Will you need help with personal care?
- Will you need home help to do your shopping, housework, meals or laundry?
- Will you want meals on wheels?
If you think you may need support at home, ask a member of the ward staff to arrange for you to speak to a social worker, who will normally be present at ward round meetings.
If you are supplied with a walking aid, wheelchair or crutches during your stay, please return these to the Outpatient Department when you have finished with them.
The hospital loses thousands of pounds each year through patients not returning appliances.