When you are getting better you may no longer need to be on an acute ward but you may still need further nursing care or rehabilitation therapy before you are able to go home. In this case you may be moved to another hospital or nursing home. Here you will receive the right level of care that you need in surroundings that are more homely and appropriate for your condition. The ward staff will notify you and your relative in advance if this is to happen.
When the time comes for you to go home, the ward manager or your nurse will give you and your relatives as much warning as they can, so that you can make the necessary arrangements.
The plans that are made for you to leave the hospital are an important part of your stay in hospital. We need to start making these plans as soon as possible, so we have the time to arrange any services or special help you will need after you leave hospital.
Before you go home:
Please make sure you have made arrangements to get home and that there is someone to look after you when you get there. If you have any problems please mention them to your nurse. We will only arrange ambulance transport if your doctor feels it is necessary.
We will give you a copy of your discharge notification form to take with you - it includes details of any medication you need. We will also send a copy to your GP. Once you have gone home, we will send a letter to your GP telling him/her about your treatment and progress.
We may have used your own medicines for your treatment whilst you have been in hospital. If these are still suitable they should be returned to you when you are ready to be discharged. If any of your medicines have been changed, the nurses will ask your permission to safely dispose of them. The hospital will provide you with any medicines you need to go home with - this will usually be a minimum two weeks supply. If you have any questions about your medicines, please ask to speak with a pharmacist.
Back at home, if you have any worries about your medication, please phone the Medicine Helpline on 01244 365137, Monday - Friday, 2pm - 4pm. At other times, please leave a message on the answer phone and we will get back to you. If you need any medical certificates for your employer or the DSS, please ask the doctor who is looking after you.
If you belong to a contributory scheme you will need to give your certificates to the ward clerk.
Your nurse will tell you if you need an outpatient appointment. The ward clerk will book it for you and give you an appointment card.
Please make sure you have all your belongings, including any cash or valuables you handed in for safekeeping. If you leave any property behind, this will be put into the Patient Property Store where it is kept for only one month. Please contact the ward.
When you are ready to leave the ward a member of the nursing staff will come and take you down to the Discharge lounge. This is a comfortable, sociable area where our nursing staff will continue to care for you, providing drinks and any meals you require whilst your discharge arrangements are completed. Any medication that you need to take home with you will be provided by the pharmacists. If you are fully mobile they will ask you to come to the Pharmacy so they can explain how your medication should be taken and answer any questions you have. You may also need to wait in the Discharge Lounge for the transport that has been arranged for you or for your relatives and friends. There is a small collection point close by where your relatives can briefly leave their car when they come for you.