Going Home After Being in Hospital
Going home after hospital can be a relief and worrying. A relief, because at last you will be able to sleep in your own bed with no noise and no hustle and bustle going on; and worrying because you’ve had all the professionals there at hand, and suddenly you’re going to be on your own relying on a friend /family or carer.
The staff in the hospital understand all those concerns and plan for your discharge when you arrive!
There are things you can do which will help –
- Arrange with a family/friend or carer to bring in the clothes that you have previously left ready in preparation for coming home. Make sure the clothes are relaxing clothes nothing too tight or fiddly buttons.
- Make sure your family/friend or carer has turned the heating back on so your home is warm enough, and that there are the essential foodstuffs in the house to keep you going.
- Check you have all your belongings and have retrieved any items handed in for safe keeping.
- Take home the telephone number of the ward so that if you have any queries once home, you can ring and ask to speak to the nurse who was looking after you.
When the nurse formally discharges you, you will be given:-
- A copy of the hospital’s discharge letter to your family doctor about the operation/ treatment which you have received.
- Any medication which you should be taking with clear instructions on when you should be taking them. If you are unsure of the medication ask – make sure you know why you are taking it and if you have enough to last you until you can see your own doctor.
- An Outpatient’s appointment if necessary.
- (If results are expected – confirm your correct address with your hospital notes.) You will be told the approximate time it will take for the results to be sent to you.
- You will be given information about any care and treatment you will need after you go home .i.e. the district nurse visiting
- You will be told if you will be receiving treatment as an outpatient such as physiotherapy, or occupational therapy assistance
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What do I do if I don’t think I’m ready to go home?
- Tell the nurse who is looking after you of your concerns
- Ask to speak to the Consultant in charge of your care.
- If you are going to be caring for a member of your family and you are not happy with arrangements that have been made you are in your rights to refuse their discharge into your care.
- If you feel that support services are not sufficient in the home environment you must stress this and agree only when you feel happy.
- A patient can refuse to be discharged but they do not have the right to remain in hospital they may be offered a care home instead.
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