Discharge from hospital

Discharge from hospital

Whilst it is important that patients are not kept in hospital any longer than necessary, it equally important that they are not discharged until it is safe to do so and there is a proper plan in place.

If it is clear to hospital staff that a patient will need additional care and support after they have been discharged from hospital, they should first consider whether the patient meets the NHS Continuing Healthcare criteria. If they do, the NHS should continue to fund their care. We can assist if you disagree with the decision.  If the person does not meet the eligibility criteria the hospital has a legal duty to notify the relevant Local Authority of their belief that the person needs a full assessment of their care needs.

The hospital are required to follow a number of steps to ensure patients are discharged safely. There should be an assessment of the person’s health and social care needs (if any), living environment and support network. This should involve the patient and their family and/or carer. If the patient lacks mental capacity a decision will be made on a best interest basis.

A written care plan should be produced recording these needs, including whether any equipment or adaptations are required if the patient is returning home, and confirmation that any required services are in place in time for the discharge. This should consider what other support may be required such as further intermediate care, re-ablement services, NHS rehabilitation, social services and care either in residential/nursing accommodation or at home.

If a Local Authority is going to be providing services, these should be arranged in a timely way to minimise any delay to the patient’s discharge from hospital. The patient should not be discharged until their required care package is in place.

We can help you to understand the various assessments which may be taking place ensuring you receive the full services your are entitled to and that you are not charged for services that should be provided free of charge.

You may feel that decisions are being made too quickly or without your wishes and feelings being taken into account. We can ensure your voice is heard, and also advise if there are issues relating to your capacity to make a decision.

We sometimes find that people feel pressured into being discharged from hospital, even if they do not feel they are safe to leave. If this happens, we can provide you with support to ensure that the proper process is being followed and that there is sufficient care in place to ensure a safe discharge.


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