Leaving hospital can cause some anxiety, especially if you are concerned about managing on your own. You may feel more confident if you know that you have personal and practical plans in place and help at hand. Royal Voluntary Service volunteers can provide support for you on leaving hospital and for your first few days or weeks, to help you get back on your feet.
Before you leave hospital your care staff will carry out an assessment that will summarise your needs so that the right level of support can be put in place. You will also receive a written discharge plan, which should be explained to you before you leave hospital. Your GP should also receive a copy.
Hospital staff should include you in decisions about your care and the support you will receive once you have left hospital. Feel free to raise any concerns you have. You may choose to have a friend, relative or carer present so that they can help you plan.
If you are returning home you may need to make some changes to your property so that you can live there safely after your hospital treatment.
If you can’t manage at home you might need to make some different arrangements such as temporary respite or convalescent care until you are back on your feet or, if necessary, permanent residential care.
Returning home checklist
- Get a relative or carer to help you leave hospital and settle in at home. Ask about Royal Voluntary Service support.
- Make sure you understand what medicines you need to take and when.
- Ensure you know how to use any equipment you will need to take home with you.
- Feel free to ask a doctor or nurse to write down anything that you will need to remember.
- Make sure you know who to contact if you need more help.
The first few weeks are really important for your recovery. It may take some time and as well as the physical side of things, you may find that you need support to regain your confidence after a stay in hospital.
You might need help from health professionals so talk to your family, doctor and health visitors about how you are feeling and what kind of support you would like. If you find that you need more help to manage at home, or changes making to your accommodation, contact your GP or your local social services team.