Discharge from hospital
Discharge planning will take place before you are discharged from the hospital’s care; in fact planning for discharge often begins before admission. However, when the actual moment of your departure arrives please inform your nurse before you leave the ward in order that he/she can check that you have all the necessary medicines and discharge information. Please be aware that - provided, of course, that you are well - you may be asked to vacate your bed at 8.00am on the day of discharge and wait in the patients’ day area. If this is necessary, your named nurse will discuss this with you and explain that your formal discharge will come later on in the day.
As mentioned above, detailed discharge planning will have taken place and your nurse will check that you have all the necessary medication and information before you leave. This may include some specific ‘do’s and don’ts’ such as, for example, when you can safely drink alcohol, drive or fly, etc. If you have a query which is not covered - please ask your doctor or nurse.
However, the following points give general advice on leaving hospital:
- Discuss with family and friends, in advance of your discharge date, your needs when you leave the hospital
- Discuss with your nurse any questions, doubts or concerns you may have
- Make sure you have transport - an ambulance or hospital car can only be arranged if your doctor considers it is medically necessary. Again, please speak to your nurse if you have any problems
- Check with your nurse to find out if you are to attend an outpatient clinic at a later date
- Details may be sent to you after you return home or, if you are a surgical patient, you may be given an orange card and asked to contact the hospital to book your follow-up appointment
- Make sure you have all the medicines you need (especially if you have been administering your own medicines whilst in hospital). If you have any new medicines prescribed or if you need extra supplies, these will be dispensed by the hospital pharmacy. You will receive a supply for at least 14 days on discharge
- Should you have any questions about your medicines after you have been discharged, the pharmacy department operates a medicines helpline (tel: 01480 364739)
- Let your local Department of Work and Pensions office know you are being discharged so your benefits can be adjusted, if necessary
- Please make sure that you have all your possessions with you and that you are not taking home any hospital property by mistake
- Prior to discharge, you will be asked to use our Patient Experience Tracker (PET): this electronic device enables you to feed back to us your feelings on certain aspects of your care during your stay. Please do use PET as it helps us to improve our services.
A team of health professionals will assess whether you are safe to return to your normal home environment immediately on discharge from Papworth, or if you need some extra support for a short while to allow a safe recovery. In some cases patients go on for a period of rehabilitation in another hospital (perhaps closer to home). Such short-term support is normally in the form of a stay in a local care facility near to your home, or support services visiting you in your own home for a while. We call this intermediate care. The types of intermediate care vary from area to area, and we will discuss what is available to you on admission.
In most circumstances, a patient will remain in hospital only as long as he or she requires close supervision, and frequent (at least weekly) review, by a consultant. Most other forms of continuing health care will be delivered in the patient’s own home, or in a residential or nursing facility. If you are considered as needing home, residential or nursing home care, there may well be a financial assessment as charges for these services may be made.
Our social workers would be happy to talk this through with you. Your nurse can arrange a meeting.
When you are discharged, a full letter will be sent to your general practitioner advising of any subsequent attention or medication that is needed. If you have any problems after returning home, please do not hesitate to contact your general practitioner.
If you need the services of the community nurse whilst at home, this will be arranged for you by your nurse.
Sometimes transplant patients will be advised to stay, with their carer, in the intermediate discharge accommodation on site, for a period after leaving hospital and before returning home.