Support available when leaving hospital

The hospital has a duty of care to make sure you have the support you need when you leave to return home.

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Support to leave hospital 

When you are ready to leave hospital, the hospital staff will discuss with you what support you had on the ward and what support you will need for your discharge (being released from hospital).  See the article being discharged from hospital.  

 This support can range from:  

  • Equipment to help you complete tasks safely, for example a walking aid or having your chair raised 
  • Informal support that may be provided by family, friends or a neighbour happy to help you once you are back at home  
  • Volunteer services such as the British Red Cross who can help you to rebuild your confidence and support you to access your local community   
  • Short term health or social care support services also known as intermediate care services, or reablement  which is a free service for 1-6 weeks that focuses on agreed goals to help you regain your confidence and independence
  • Carers Support Centre, The Home to Decide and Next Steps to Decide services. See below for more information.

Carers Support Centre

Hospital Carers Liaison Workers work with the BRI, Southmead and South Bristol Community Hospital to support discharge for family members looking after someone who is being discharged from hospital.  For contact details visit the Carers Support Centre website.

Home to Decide service

The Home to Decide team provides a service to South Gloucestershire residents who are ready to leave hospital. The service allows for discharge from hospital without a Social Care assessment. The service can only be arranged by a health or social care professional and it is not possible to self-refer to this service. The service focuses on individual strengths and works directly with the person to prepare a plan to promote a return to their previous level of independence. The service lasts for a maximum of 6 weeks, or will end sooner if previous levels of independence are reached.

Next Steps to Decide service

The ‘Next Steps to Decide’ service is intended for people who are medically ready for discharge from hospital but are not quite ready to return home. The service is based at Alexandra Way, a care home in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire.  The Next Steps to Decide team work with residents to encourage independent living skills. The service lasts a maximum of 6 weeks, or until previous levels of independence have been reached. When the service ends and independence has not been reached a worker will help the person to decide the next step.

If you require regular care and support because your needs have changed since you went into hospital, you will have to pay some or all of the cost for any longer term care services.  If you had care before going into hospital and your need for this has not changed, ward staff will arrange to restart the service.   

The type of support you need will be discussed by the professionals involved in your care.   They will ask you about any help you have at home and who provides this.  The hospital ward staff will discuss your options with you.  With your permission they will make relevant referrals to other services for you and talk with others who may be able to help and support you.    

Preparing to leave hospital  

How long it takes to leave hospital will depend on how soon the ward can arrange for your medication to be prepared, and if you will need any support. This is dependent upon the type of support service you need, some start within 24 hours, others can take a few days to set up.  You should ask the ward to write the date down so you can let people know.      

Rehabilitation units in South Gloucestershire  

If the ward feels that you are medically well enough to leave hospital, but you are not ready to go back to your own home, they may suggest you go into a step down rehabilitation unit. This ensures you can continue to have 24 hour support from health care professionals as well as gaining your independence.  

Step Down Rehabilitation units in South Gloucestershire are run by Sirona care & health:

Transport to get home 

Hospital ward staff will tell you when you can make your own arrangements to go home.  If you do not have someone to collect you, or you cannot safely get in or out of a car, the ward will arrange hospital transport for you.