Getting discharged from hospital

During your hospital stay, we monitor your progress and recovery. When we’re sure it’s safe for you to leave, we help you make plans to go home. We call this a discharge.

Planning to go home

We aim to help you leave the hospital as soon as you’re well enough. Together, we'll work on a plan to get you home.

We’ll talk to you about:

  • when you can leave
  • the plan for your ongoing care
  • what you can and can't do when you go home
  • any questions you have.

It's important for you to:

  • talk about your care and take part in these decisions
  • understand how your choices and lifestyle can affect your recovery
  • let your family or carers know what you need to do when you're home.

When you'll go home

Your discharge time depends on the ward and hospital.

If you can't leave hospital at the suggested time, talk to our staff. We'll make sure we care for you until you can get home.

Before you leave

Before you leave, make sure your nurse or doctor gives you:

  • your discharge letter
  • your care plan
  • details of any follow up appointments
  • any new medicine, scripts and instructions
  • any medical certificates you need for work or study
  • arrangements for home support or community services.

We’ll let you know about any changes to your medicine, or any new medicine that you need to take. There are some medicines that you can only get from the hospital pharmacy – try to get these before you leave.

When you’re leaving hospital, it’s best to have a family member or friend pick you up and help you get home safely. Plan this before you go.

If you need help getting home, or you aren't sure about something, ask us for help.

Leaving hospital

When it’s time to leave hospital, check that:

  • you have all your personal belongings
  • you've collected any items held for you
  • you've arranged any equipment or aids that you’ll need when you get home
  • your contact details are correct
  • you have transport home.

Make sure you know who to contact if you have any problems or concerns after you leave. You can contact your GP too.

After you leave

After you leave hospital, you might need to keep getting treatment or support at home.

If you need to come back to the hospital for a follow-up appointment, we’ll send you the details in an appointment card or letter. Let us know if you can’t get to the appointment so we can give it to someone else.

Leaving hospital against medical advice

Leaving hospital before you're ready could put your health at risk.

If you decide to leave against our medical advice, we'll ask you to sign a disclaimer form. This is a record that you've chosen to go home against our advice.

You should come back to hospital if your condition doesn't improve. It's okay to come back, even if you left against our advice.

Tell us about your stay in hospital

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Last updated: September 2023