If you need to be admitted to hospital the nursing and medical staff will see you shortly after your arrival and ask you questions about your health and home situation. Once a treatment has been agreed you will be told how long you may be in hospital. However, this will be kept under review as the timing for your discharge from hospital may change depending on your recovery.
If you know that you need to go into hospital, it will be important that you make arrangements for the care of your property and pets while you are away. You should also consider:
- How your benefits may be affected. The Department of Work and Pensions provides information about how a hospital stay affects benefits;
- How you can ensure that your essential bills are paid e.g your gas, electricity, rent, while you are away, so that you do not encounter problems when you return home; and
- How to organise your return home – some matters that will be particularly important are:
- Will you have a key or will there be someone at home to let you in?
- Will you have clothes to go home in, shoes and a coat?
- Will there be food in the house?
- Will the house be warm enough?
- Who will be taking you home?
- Have you any close friends, relatives or neighbours who can help you if needed?
If you are admitted to hospital as an emergency case, you will need to consider these matters as soon as you are well enough. It is important that you, or your family or friends, raise any concerns you may have about your discharge from hospital as soon as possible.
If you cannot identify somebody to help you let the nursing staff looking after you know about your concerns as soon as possible. With your agreement, and where appropriate, a referral will be made to the hospital social work team who can make an assessment of your needs. It is important that you tell them your views and wishes for the future. If you have someone who helps to look after you, for example family or friends, their views, with your permission, will also be considered. They will also have the opportunity to have their own needs assessed through a carer’s assessment.
Sometimes we may need to visit your home. This is to allow us to assess what services and/or equipment will help you when you are discharged from hospital.
Some people may return home from hospital with support. This could be provided by adult social care and/or NHS health teams depending on their needs. You could be referred to the Reablement Service, if you are eligible, where you will be supported to safely and gradually undertake everyday living tasks in your own home, for example, cooking, dressing over a period of up to six weeks. You will then be assessed and, if eligible, and there is an ongoing social care need, your social care practitioner will work with you to produce a support plan.
If you are unable to return home, even with help, you may need to consider your longer term plans. However, you cannot generally stay in hospital whilst you are doing this, as the hospital will need to be able to provide care to others in need of urgent treatment. By continuing to occupy a bed in a hospital when you no longer need it, you are preventing someone else receiving the treatment they need.
Not everyone will need this detailed assessment of their needs as some people can go home from hospital without any support. Others may have family and friends who can help out for a short time until they feel able to cope on their own again.
A range of services may be provided that will help you recover when you leave hospital. These could be therapists, care assistants or nurses and they may be provided in your own home, or another supported environment, such as a care home for a short period.
What if I can’t go home immediately?
You may not be able to return home immediately because of practical difficulties, or important decisions needing to be made about your future. You will not be able to stay in hospital whilst these things are being sorted out. The team looking after you will explain what arrangements can be made in the meantime.
What if I can’t return home?
There are options available including extra care housing but if it has been agreed that your needs would be best met in a care home (including care homes with nursing) you will need to find a home that you can move to immediately. This may not be your first choice of home and you may want to consider moving again at a later date. Sometimes it is not immediately possible to find a vacancy in your preferred area and in these circumstances you will be expected to move further afield. Your social worker or the discharge liaison nurse will provide you with any assistance/support in finding a home. You can get information about this in Warwickshire by contacting the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has national as well as local information.
Will I have to pay?
There is no cost to the individual for any assessment. If we provide a service, or arrange it for you on leaving hospital, you may have to pay for the service in full or make a contribution to the cost of this service. You will need to have a financial assessment if you need or want the local authority to fund all/part of the service and your social worker will be able to explain any charges to you.
What if I don’t want to share my personal financial situation?
We understand that some people may not wish to provide details of their financial situation and in these cases the services will still be offered, but you will be asked to pay the maximum charge.
What if I need health care on a continual basis?
If you are likely to require a significant amount of health care on a continuing basis you will receive an assessment and information about your rights and entitlements.