Going home or moving to another care setting

Planning for going home/discharge will start soon after your admission to support a safe and organised discharge. A target discharge date will be discussed with you and/or your next of kin to enable you to also prepare for discharge.

On the day of your discharge, you may be moved to the discharge lounge, where you will be cared for until you have left the hospital.

When you are discharged, the staff on your ward will advise you of the procedure and make sure you have everything you need. They will also advise you about any medication, follow-up appointments, and appropriate care following your discharge

You, your friends, and your relatives will be given as much notice as possible of your discharge from hospital.

Being discharged or being transferred to another hospital

We recognise that an extended length of stay in the hospital poses certain risks (for example, healthcare acquired infections, loss of independence), and for this reason as soon as your treatment is underway and you are becoming medically stable we will start to discuss getting you home as quickly as possible. This may mean:

  • providing additional support and/or assessment in your own home; or 
  • transferring you to a nurse and therapist led unit at another east Kent hospital for a period of assessment and/or rehabilitation; or 
  • a period of assessment and/or rehabilitation in a community setting (for example a community hospital, intermediate care centre, a care home facility). 

However, if your care needs can be safely managed at home, you will return to your usual place of residence rather than going to a rehabilitation setting.

Being discharged home

Hospital transport home can be provided only for patients who are medically unfit to travel by any other means. This is determined by the team responsible for your care.

The hospital will forward a summary of your treatment to your GP and you will receive a copy.

We ask that you make your own arrangements for travelling home. If there are likely to be difficulties, please advise the nursing staff on your ward when you are admitted.

If you think that you are going to have difficulties with any of the arrangements, or coping once you are at home, please tell your nurse.

  • For further information please read the Your hospital stay: planning for discharge leaflet  

When you are discharged from the hospital

Please ensure you have the following

  • All of your personal items and valuables
  • House keys
  • Suitable clothing for your journey home
  • Any necessary medication
  • An outpatient appointment if necessary
  • Written and verbal instructions regarding your continuing care
  • An appointment for removal of stitches/clips, if necessary
  • It is important that you do not leave the ward until you have spoken to a qualified nurse/midwife and have received your discharge advice
  • In colder weather it would be useful to ensure that someone has turned on your heating before you arrive home
  • It is suggested that you arrange for someone to ensure that you have adequate food and drink available at home for when you arrive
  • When arranging your own transport, please book this for the morning if possible.