For most people, discharge from hospital will be quick and straightforward. However for some older people, and those with long-term or complex conditions, advance planning may be required to make sure the right support is available, in the right place, at the right time.
Discharge planning is a process that helps identify the services and support a person may need when leaving hospital. Planning will start as soon as possible after admission. The planning process will make sure that the right care is available in the community in time for the person's discharge.
Why can't people stay in hospital?
As far as possible, hospitals should not be places where people live - even those with on-going clinical needs. They are places to go for short-term episodes of treatment that cannot be provided in the community.
Spending too long in hospital can lead too:
- A sense of disconnection from family, friends and usual social networks leading to boredom, loneliness and loss of confidence
- Risk of healthcare associated infection, and delierium
- Distress for family and carers who have to spend time and money on regular visits to a hospital that may be some distance from home.
Where can I get more Information?
- Discharge Flowchart (helps highlight the process involved in discharge planning)
- The Road to Discharge (Infographic showing discharge from hospital process)
- We have developed two public information leaflets which provide helpful information, in plain English, for patients, family and carers:
- Ready for Discharge? What Happens Next? [PDF 271.34 kb]
- Moving from Hospital to a Care Home [PDF 269.06 kb]