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Advice for a hospital stay and returning safely home.

If you or someone you know requires help and support after a hospital stay this care should be arranged prior to being discharged. It doesn’t matter if the stay is planned or if it’s an emergency the hospital staff in charge should contact social services to arrange a ‘discharge assessment’.

This assessment can take place both in the hospital itself or in the home. The discharge assessment should always be agreed between the patient and the healthcare professional involved. If at any point within the assessment process the patient does not feel their voice is being heard or that they are being discriminated against in any way, a compliant should be raised.

To make a complaint the patient or carer can:

• speak to the staff involved to see if the problem can be resolved internally

• speak to the hospital’s ‘Patient Advice and Liaison Service’ (PALS)

• contact the NHS complaint advocacy service

• contact NHS England -, addressing ‘for attention of the complaints team’ in the email subject line. The phone line for this service is - 0300 311 22 33. Each hospital has its own discharge policy and a copy of this can be obtained from the ward manager or the hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). When the patient is fit enough to be discharged the medical staff should then produce a ‘discharge plan’. A copy of this is then forwarded on to the patient’s GP as a follow up from the initial discharge assessment.

The discharge plan should include:

• details of the medical condition

• information about any medicines

• contact information after discharge - who to contact and how to contact them, including any questions about your care

• arrangements for continuing social care support, aids and equipment

• arrangements for ongoing health support.

Tips and things to consider for returning home safely:

• Has your carer been given sufficient notice of your discharge date and time?

• Do you have suitable clothes for your journey home?

• Is someone collecting you or is hospital transport required?

• Do you have house keys and money if you are travelling home alone?

• Has your medication changed since admission? Will your medication be ready on time?

• Have medication changes been explained to you and do you know whether some prescribed items are only to be taken short term?

• If you need to use new support aids or equipment will they be there when you get home? • Do you need continence products?

• are your GP and other community health staff aware of your discharge date and the support you need from them?

• Do you have food, drink and other essentials at home?

If you need help at home after your discharge FeelCare can help with personal care, domestic tasks, meal preparation and other duties requires by you ranging from 2 hour visits to 24 hour live in or live out care.

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