If your health care team feel you are well enough, and it is safe to do so, you will be discharged. In most cases you can go home, but if you need more complex care we will arrange discharge to another service. It is important that we plan with you to ensure you leave hospital in a safe and timely manner.
We will arrange any appropriate referrals to adult services or to the community depending on what has been identified that you need.
Once you are feeling better, recovery will be faster back in the comfort of your own home. We will do our best to keep you informed about your care during your stay, and this includes when you will be well enough to go home.
Why can’t I stay in hospital?
It is important that our hospitals are able to look after people that need hospital care. If your healthcare team decide you no longer need to be cared for in hospital, we will discharge you. Our priority is to always discharge you to the best possible place to support your recovery.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to remain in hospital if you choose not to accept the onward care that is being offered to you.
What can I expect?
Your healthcare team will discuss discharge and transport arrangements with you, we will involve carers and family and/or friends in this if you wish. If you require care and support when you get home, this will be arranged.
Will I need to pay for my care?
Provision of care in your own home (not a care home)
If you need more care now than when you came into hospital this additional care will be provided free of charge until the review of care needs takes place, which will usually be within a few days of discharge. Ongoing or long-term funding is not guaranteed.
Patient discharge lounge
You may be asked to stay in our patient discharge lounge while you wait for your medication or for relatives to take you home. Once home, if you are concerned about your medication, please call the ward you were discharged from or the patient medicine helpline: 01444 454 388.
Prepare for discharge
- Speak to our staff about your care plan after discharge
- Include relatives and friends in the conversation – can they offer support to you once you are home?
- What extra help might you need at home, such as help with shopping?
Discharge to another place of care
If your healthcare team agree that you are well enough to leave hospital and it is safe to do so, we will discharge you home or to an alternative care setting based on your identified needs.
Why can’t I stay in hospital?
Staying in hospital for longer than necessary may reduce your independence, result in you losing muscle strength or expose you to infection. Leaving hospital when you are ready is not only best for you but will free up a bed for someone who is very unwell.
Our priority is to ensure you are in the right place for the best recovery possible. This may be in a community bed which can best meet your needs or If you are a care home resident this will most likely be your care home. If a new placement is identified as required, the discharge team or adult services will support you and your family with finding an appropriate placement which can meet your needs.
Information for support persons
Looking after family and friends after they leave hospital
This lists gives advice for family and friends of people needing ongoing care or support with their day-to-day life after they leave hospital.
Support may be in the home or remotely (e.g. by phone), and might include:
- Emotional support like helping someone manage anxiety or mental health
- Housework like cooking, cleaning or other chores
- Personal support like help moving around, washing, eating or getting dressed
- Assistance with getting essential items like medicine or food, or help to manage money, paid care or other services.
What to consider if you are looking after someone:
- Get help from others with caring and everyday tasks:
- Try not to do everything yourself! Speak to friends and family about what support the person needs and what others can do to help. Can they share any tasks?
- Go to the Carers UK and Carers Trust websites for information about support available. Carers UK also have an online forum where you can speak to other carers, and a free helpline, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on 0808 808 777. Carers UK website.
- If you are employed, talk to your employer about managing work whilst caring. You may be able to arrange flexible working and many employers offer other ways of making things easier.
- If you are at school, college or university, let them know you are caring for someone so they can help you manage your studies. Carers Trust has lots of helpful advice for young people looking after family members or friends. Carers Trust website.
- Check what your council or local authority can offer. Find their websites using the online postcode tool at www.gov.uk/find-local-council. Services may change during the pandemic.
- Get specialist advice about caring from condition-related organisations like Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, MIND and others. Many offer support for carers too.
- Look after your health as well as the person you support: It’s important to look after yourself to stay healthy and avoid burning out. Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and try to make time each day for physical activity. Taking time for yourself to exercise or take a few breaths can relieve stress and help you manage each day. Check the NHS ‘Every Mind Matters’ website for more tips. If your own health or the health of the person you support gets worse, with coronavirus or another illness, talk to your GP or call NHS 111.
- Think ahead to make care manageable if things change: Write down what care the person needs and what others should do if you can’t continue providing care for any reason. It’s important that others can easily find your plan and quickly understand what needs to be done if you aren’t there. Carers UK have advice on their website on how to make your plan.
- Read the Government guidance for unpaid carers: For more detailed advice on caring for friends or family during coronavirus search for ‘unpaid care coronavirus gov.uk’ online.
- Register for extra support from NHS volunteers: Carers as well as those they care for can get a range of help including with shopping and other support by calling 0808 196 3646.
Who can I contact
After you have been discharged from us, if you have any concerns or need to speak with us about your care, please get in touch.
Worthing Hospital 01903 205111 Ext. 84708
St Richard’s Hospital 01243 788122 Ext. 35398
Royal Sussex County and Princess Royal Hospital 01273 696955 Ext. 63221