When am I going home? Information about being discharged from hospital

When am I going home? It's ok to ask

When you’ve had all the hospital care you need, going home is where you’re going to get better faster and be comfortable in familiar surroundings.  You’ll want to know your discharge date as soon as possible, so you can make plans to get home and if needed, arrange for any additional support.

Being at home is the best place for most people to improve their wellbeing, independence and recover faster where possible.

Planning to get you home every step of the way

We will support you to leave hospital when the time is right. You will only leave when you no longer need hospital care.

We will work with you to start planning right away to ensure you leave the hospital in a safe and timely way.

You might need some additional care when you return home to help you in your recovery, or practical support such as help with shopping.

What you can expect

Early conversations – soon after you are admitted to hospital, either through the emergency department or as a planned admission, we will discuss and plan how you will be able to leave when the time is right. We will involve your family, carers and/or friends in conversations if you wish.

Expected date of discharge – soon after you arrive in hospital you will be given an expected date you will leave hospital, this will be reviewed throughout your stay.

If you need a little practical help or advice to allow you to return home, then the ward staff can help organise this. Examples of help that could be provided may include:

  • Organising transport home
  • Arranging for additional care
  • Cleaning or decluttering your home
  • Moving bedroom furniture downstairs

If you are concerned about paying for these services, there may be financial support that can be offered. Please ask staff on your ward for more information. They can talk to you about a one off payment Personal Health Budget that you could apply for.

Helping you to get home from hospital

The nurse in charge of your care should explain the following to you, and your carer if you have one:

  • the criteria the ward staff will use when deciding you no longer need to be in hospital
  • when they think you’ll be ready to leave
  • where they think you’re likely to be able to move to the next place for your care
  • the needs you’ll likely have at that time.

Once it’s decided you no longer need to be in hospital, staff will usually arrange for you to be discharged the same day.

In most cases, you’ll be discharged to your own home, in which case hospital staff can support you to get home.

If needed, you can also be supported to arrange any immediate care you may need once you’re home.

For some people they may be discharged to a community hospital or care home.

Your care and support after leaving hospital

You may need help to retain or regain confidence and skills following an injury or illness, so you can continue living the life you choose to live. This may include providing you with a short period of support for around 2-4 weeks to allow you to gain confidence and ability with a range of tasks such as those below:

  • personal care tasks such as washing, dressing and going to the toilet
  • domestic tasks such as food and drink preparation, cleaning, shopping, and doing laundry
  • using transport, and accessing the community
  • moving safely and confidently around the home or outdoors, climbing stairs, getting up from a chair, getting in and out of bed and getting on and off the toilet
  • maximising opportunities to socialise, to start or resume hobbies.

This care and support may be provided by a range of different organisations.

After you’re discharged, as well as supporting you to recover further, staff are expected to carry out an assessment of your ongoing health and care needs. They should decide how this will be funded and let you know whether you’ll need to contribute towards the cost.

There are a series of leaflets to give you more information on what happens when you leave hospital:

Your checklist for discharge

This list provides a few of the areas that you or your family can go through in advance of you leaving hospital:

  • Who will pick you up or meet you at home?
  • Who can put the heating on and get a few essential food items before you get home?
  • Are your ongoing care arrangements in place?
  • Do you have suitable outdoor clothing and shoes to wear?
  • Do you have any medical certificates you may need?
  • Do you have your hospital discharge letter for your GP?
  • Do you have your medication ready to take home?
  • Do you understand how and when to take your medication?
  • Do you have your house keys and personal belongings?

Find out about the Community Gateway Service

You can find out about the different help available in your community to support your discharge from hospital, please contact the community gateway:

Text Size

Change font