Preparing to leave hospital

Leaving hospital images
Staying in hospital can be strange and confusing for you and your family and friends, we want to help you go home as soon as you are well enough to continue your recovery outside hospital.
We will help you stay as active as possible so you can go home when the team caring for you agree you no longer need hospital care.
We will encourage you to get up and dressed each day, so we ask that your relatives/ carers bring appropriate clothing in for you that support you to follow your normal routines.
Find out more about leaving hospital When Am I Leaving Hospital booklet.

Criteria Led Discharge (CLD)

For some patients we utilise a Criteria Led Discharge process which supports you spending less time waiting for decisions to be made regarding your discharge as all required goals are outlined. We have a multidisciplinary team (MDT) e.g. Doctor, Registered Nurse and Therapist that are empowered to discharge a patient when they meet pre-agreed clinical criteria for discharge.
The Patient/carer shall be informed at the earliest opportunity that they have been selected for CLD and be regularly updated on progress and be given further information regarding the process.


During your time in hospital, you should be seen by a member of the pharmacy team to discuss what medications you usually take, if any. Let us know where your medications are and how many you have as this will also inform us what medications you will need when you go home.
We will make sure you are sent home with at least two weeks’ supply of all long-term medications.
The discharge letter you will be sent home with, will list the medications you should be taking when you are discharged. It is important that you read the discharge letter when you go home so that you are aware of any changes to your medications.

What happens now

There will be a lot of different people involved in your care, doctors, nurses and therapists – they will be your ward care team. Together they will help you get better and with your permission will talk to you and your relatives, carer or friend about when you can go home.
Hopefully you will be able to go straight home, or it may be that you need more care, or further assessment in another environment. This could be with another NHS or social care service, we will work together so you have the care and support you need.
It’s really important that you talk to your relatives, carer or friend and your ward care team about what you need for when you leave hospital. Don’t be afraid to ask what’s happening – the teams looking after you, know how important it is that we help you get home. Make sure you let us know of any support you already have – like equipment or carers. We will talk to you and your relative, carer or friend to plan your discharge with your permission.

Leaving hospital

Your discharge will be organised by your ward care team. Your recovery is important and we will give you letters, medication, equipment to help so that you can stay well and also so your GP knows that you are home.
On the day of your discharge, you may be moved to a seating area or to our discharge lounge, where you will be looked after until you leave hospital

What you can do

As discharges can often be arranged in a matter of hours, you and your relative, friend or carers will need to think about;
  • how you will get home?
  • how you will get into your home, do you have your key?
  • do you have suitable clothes and footwear to go home in?
  • is there food and will your home be warm for you?
  • if you have a medical condition it may be that we will arrange your transport home by Ambulance.

Things you need when you leave hospital

  • Discharge Summary - this details the care you have received in hospital.  At times of increased patient numbers, there could be a delay in you receiving the discharge letter.
  • Clinical supplies - such as bandages, continence pads, or nutritional feeds
  • Care and support on discharge - If you are going home but you need extra support to facilitate a safe discharge, then a referral to social care or community health care providers will be made.
  • Equipment - If you need equipment to support you at home like a walking stick or a wheeled walker to help keep you mobile, the Therapy team will arrange this prior to discharge.
  • Personal Belongings - Please ask your relative, carer or friend to contact the ward so you have your clothes ready for when you are discharged.
  • Transport - this could be with a relative, carer or friend collecting you by car or taxi. Hospital transport will be arranged if you fit the eligibility criteria.