All hospitals should have a procedure in place to help patients being discharged, to help with the transition from hospital to home, or to a care home. Patients should be given information about the hospital’s discharge arrangements as early as possible during their stay.
Each patient should get a personalised discharge plan before leaving hospital. This should be drawn up by a team of healthcare professionals and should take into account their physical condition, care needs and living arrangements.
The team should discuss the discharge arrangements with the individual or a family member or carer who looks after them. They will carry out an assessment to find out what support is needed for returning home. This may include questions such as:
How they will manage with personal care, such as bathing and washing?
Can they prepare their own meals?
Can they manage steps or stairs?
Do they need any financial support?
Ideally, the discharge plan should be drawn up within 24 hours of admission to hospital, however in reality it’s more likely to be completed once discharge is on the horizon, especially for those who are going to be in hospital for a while.