When someone is discharged from hospital and needs further care and support, there are a number of issues it is useful to consider as part of the discharge planning process.
1. Have you had a multi-disciplinary assessment?
This means an assessment with professionals from health and social care to identify your needs after you have been discharged. You and your relative/carer should be involved. The type of assessment you will have depends on your needs and may include considering your eligibility for:
- Reablement/intermediate care – short term support to enable you to recover and regain skills which is free.
- NHS continuing healthcare – if you have a high level of healthcare needs you should be considered for full NHS funding. You and your relative/carer should be involved in the assessment and you should receive a written copy of your assessed needs (in a document called a Decision Support Tool) and a letter confirming whether or not you are eligible. If you are found eligible, you will not then need to pay for your care.
2. Has your carer received an assessment for ongoing support?
3. If you need ongoing care (after the assessments above), check that you have received a written plan
- Does the plan accurately reflect your needs?
- Has anything been missed?
- Do you understand the plan? For example, do you know how many care visits you will receive each day, and what the care staff will support you with?
4. Have you had the chance to express your choices?
5. Have you received information about the financial costs of any care?
Charges and financial assessments for care and support are complicated. Be sure to ask for full information about the costs of any proposed care. We recommend that you seek independent advice BEFORE committing to a legally binding contract.
6. Have you got the correct support equipment?
This may include adaptations to enable you to safely use your toilet, mobility aids such as walking frames, or even a hospital bed. If you need them, these aids should be put in place ready for discharge.
7. Do you know the transport arrangements for discharge?
8. Do you know what medications you need? Have you got a supply to cover the discharge period?
9. Do you know who to contact if you feel unwell when you get home?
10. Do you need support to get shopping / turn your heating on, ready for your arrival?
The Hospital Discharge Co-ordinator or Social Worker will be able to support you to access services that can help in these areas, should you need them.
If you have a query regarding the legal aspects of care, please contact our specialist Health and Community Care Team on 01926 491181 for free initial advice.