A guide to discharge from hospital

Adam Hutchison

Have you had a loved one or have yourself been in hospital? Would like to be discharged to your home but do not understand the options or the systems to getting support at home? Here is a short guide to help and provide you with some follow-up items.

In this article:

Importance of support when being discharged from hospital

Over the last few months, it's been ever more prevalent about the issues that people face when they're being discharged from the hospital and no closer to it are we within the health and social care sector as we look to support people as they are discharged from the hospital.

The biggest issues that people face are around how they're going to be supported when they are given the great news that they are able to go home. This is one of those moments where people think " YES! I'm going home, this is fantastic, I want to do that & I can’t wait to be back in my own home which is the best place for me". We  know this can be true for not only the person's well-being but also for their support network, as they will also know their loved one is safe and recovering in their own home.

Discharge options

The care sector or ‘social care’ as it's widely renowned in the news and the media currently is often sadly seen as the poor relation to the National Health Service, but social care offers a great deal of support for those people who don't have support in place. The biggest issue with people being discharged from the hospital especially in cases involving older people is that many people lack that support from home.

And what we mean by ‘support at home’ is – imagine you are being discharged back into your own home from the hospital, but you may have had a fall or a hip operation, or maybe you have a broken bone in your body and therefore your physical ability may have reduced, even if it is just for a short period of time, how are you going to be supported in your own home? Who is in place to help you recover? This help may come from a family member, from neighbours or the local community, it may come from people whom you already know who have previously been supporting you in your own home – however, these are not the only support mechanisms available to you.

Domiciliary care or home care

Social care is the biggest supporter of people once they are in their own homes. If you can't walk, you struggle to get dressed or take a shower, make a meal or a sandwich, then there needs to be a support service in place to help you do that these activities. This service is normally delivered by what is known as domiciliary care or simply home care as it's also known. This service can be researched and located online or through your local community, there are many providers who offer this service as do we at Belmont healthcare through our Belmont at Home service.

Home care is something that is rarely sorted out before somebody is discharge and this is where we have found that problems can occur. People are often at home, unsupported and can end up having another fall or another issue which means that they can end up back in hospital, even potentially in accident and emergency which is not the best place to be considering the current wait times with huge demands ambulances and paramedics are currently facing. The best outcome for you is to not have that fall again and not end up back in hospital! So, it's about ensuring that you have a network at home that is going to support you when you are discharged from hospital.

Rehabilitation in a care home

Another option available to people is to be discharged on what is called a later pathway and therefore you can be discharged into a care home for a short period of time - that short period may be anything from 2 weeks up to six weeks, meaning rehabilitation can take place in safe, secure and supportive care home environment to help you get back on your feet and also to help you get back to cooking, cleaning and making your own cup of tea etc.

Funding options for social care

Just because you may need a little extra support at this time of being discharged from hospital, and it may appear that in a carehome you have more support on hand than you actually need, this is doesn't mean that you're going to end up in a care home forever. We understand that this could appear daunting, and could be a concern when getting ready to leave hospital, but it doesn’t have to be. What is important is a safe and secure environment which people feel happy being in whilst they recover, having every intention of going back to their own home after a few weeks. It is important to understanding what options are available to you when you need to be discharged from hospital back into a place where you can take your next steps in your rehabilitation from whatever it may be.

Next, we come onto funding which is always the biggest concern when it comes to social care …`” How am I going to fund this help and who's going to support me?” But when you're discharged from the hospital people are normally provided with something called ‘‘pathway one’ which means you'll be supported by a number of calls throughout the day by local community nurses and physios. This support is covered under the National Health Service and the taxes that you've paid over the last many however many years..

Social care needs to be engaged when additional support is required, and the additional support could be t In-home care or potentially in a care home. These services can be funded by the local authority, by the NHS the CCG, or alternatively paid privately. But this is a way to help you rehabilitate and get you back home safely and to enable you to continue being at home, and certainly in a better condition than if something else had happened following an unsafe, unmonitored discharge situation alone from hospital.

Goal to prevent readmissions and support safe discharge

One of the key things to ensure and we are incredibly passionately keen to prevent is to ensure that more people don't have to return to hospital, spend more time there and then have to go through the process again, or worse still, and having to spend more time in hospital, we know that often the best place to recuperate is in our own homes.

Our aim is to ensure the correct information about available services, the options available to people and to help people understand the options available to them as well as the route to getting from a hospital bed back into your own bed and watching television in your own living room with the right cup of tea watching the programme of choice is ultimately what we want for everybody.

For options and more detail on what services are available, then please visit our website which is Belmont Healthcare alternatively, please checkout some of the number of links below telling you more about our services available from the NHS. You will also see some of the wonderful testimonials we have received those people we have already supported in getting back to being in their own homes safely.

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