Getting you ‘one step closer to home’ and helping you leave hospital safely

It is our aim to discharge you from hospital as soon as you are well enough

Your hospital discharge information

It is our aim to discharge you from hospital as soon as you are well enough.
This document will help us to plan with you and your family or carer how you leave hospital. It explains what happens when you leave hospital and why it is important to get home. It also provides details of different services you may need when you get home.

You can use this document to make a note of any questions you have or things you would like to discuss. Please keep it with you in hospital and take it with you when you leave.

Hello, my name is:
I am on ward:

Ward telephone number:

My Consultant is:

My expected date of discharge is:

Why are we starting to plan for me to leave hospital?

As soon as you arrive, we will want to talk to you about a plan for getting you home.
The team looking after you will discuss with you the expected date when you will be discharged. This will be when your hospital treatment is finished. It is important everyone is aware of this date so we can all work towards it.

We will discharge you to the best place to support your ongoing recovery. In most cases this will be your home.

We may need to organise care for you after you leave hospital. If this is the case, the discharge hub will look for services available it maybe that a temporary transfer to a community care home bed could be required.

Why is home the best place to recover?

  • People think of hospitals as safe places, but they also come with risks. Did you know that:
    10 days in hospital leads to the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles of people over 80.
  • Long hospital stays increase your risk
    of falls, infection, and sleep deprivation.
  • The longer you stay, the more dependant you
    become on others and the more muscle strength
    you will lose.

The hospital is the right place to be when you are in need of specialist medical care. When your treatment is finished, it is much better for you to leave hospital as soon as possible.
No-one wants to stay in hospital longer than they need to. It will take longer for you to recover if you stay in hospital when you don’t need to.

It is important to get you back to the comfort of your own home as soon as it is safe to do so. If this is the case, the discharge hub will look for services available it may be that a temporary transfer to a community care home bed could be required while a package of care is being sourced.

Why can’t I stay in hospital longer?

It is important that hospitals can look after those who need hospital care. We must make sure there are enough beds available for people who need to be in hospital.
If you stay in hospital longer than you need to, this puts pressure on the hospital. It also means patients who do need to be in hospital have to wait longer for a bed.

How you can help with your discharge?

It is important to talk to your loved ones or carers and the teams looking after you. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your discharge from hospital. Here are four key questions that you should ask the team caring for you:

  • Why am I in hospital?
  • What is going to happen to me today?
  • When am I going home?
  • What will help get me home?

We need to make sure you have the right support in place when you leave hospital. We also need to know what support you already have in place.

There will be things which we need to discuss, for example:

  • Any equipment you might need or changes to your home to make it easier for you
  • Any support you might need with personal care like washing or getting your clothes on
  • Any social care support you might need
  • Any help that you might need from family members or carers

Temporary Community Care Home Beds

We want to make sure you have the best recovery possible. Once your hospital treatment is finished, we want to get you home. If you ca not go home straight away with services or need extra support, we will move you to a community care home bed. This short-term service may be free of charge, however, is only up to a maximum of four weeks. A member if the discharge hub will discuss with you if your discharge arrangements fall into this category.

We will find and transfer you to the first bed that is available in your local area. This might not be closest to where you live, but we will always try to keep you as close to home as we possibly can.

The type of community care home bed you will move to will depend on the level of the care you need. You will be moved to a community bed if you need:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Specialist care
  • A care package (while looking for a provider)

When you move to a community care home bed, it is because you no longer need to be in hospital. It will help with your recovery and will also help the hospital to run safely.

Once your assessment for long term services has been identified including any point before the four weeks you will be required to pay for your long-term service depending on the outcome of your financial assessment.

What if I need further treatment?

If you need further care or support after your hospital stay, we will talk to you about this. We will put a care plan in place, so you have everything you need. A team of health professionals will support you. We will make arrangements for the next stage of your care. This could include:

  • Follow up appointments
  • A visit from our community nursing team
  • Help organise care at home, in a care home or a hospice

What if I have any concerns after discharge?

We understand that you may be worried about leaving hospital. That’s why our teams are here to support you and your loved ones every step of the way.

You can also contact the ward if you have any worries or concerns.

What happens on the day you leave hospital?

Discharge Lounge

You will go the hospital’s Discharge Lounge while you wait to go home. We will look after you here until you leave hospital.


We will aim to get you home before lunchtime. This is so you are not kept waiting in the hospital. It will also give you time to settle in at home or in the place you are transferred to.


Most patients arrange a lift home with their family or friends. If you need patient transport, we will arrange this for you.


We will make sure you have the medicines that you need. This includes any medicine you brought in with. We will give you clear instructions about any new medicines that you need to take. If you are not clear about your medication, please ask before you go home. If you have any questions after you leave hospital, please talk to your GP.

To make sure your discharge from hospital goes to plan:

  • Ask a relative or friend to make sure your home is ready for your return, and you have food available, and the heating is on
  • Make sure you have suitable clothes to go home in
  • Make sure that you have your house key with you
  • Ensure that arrangements have been made for any adults or children you normally care for

It is important to let us know if getting into your home could be tricky. We need to know things like:

  • If your home is on a very tight corner
  • If you have to go up or down a set of stairs to access your home (like stairs to your front door) or if you live in an upstairs flat or an apartment

What happens when you leave hospital?

Follow-up appointments

Most patients who go home don’t need any follow-up care straight away. If you need a further appointment, we will try and rearrange this before you leave hospital. If not, we will contact you as soon as we can after you get home.

When you go home, we will send a discharge summary to you GP. This is so your GP know what treatment you have had in hospital.

Looking after your wound

If you are housebound, the ward will refer you to your locality team for follow up wound care management. If you are not housebound, the ward will make arrangements for you to see a nurse at your GP practice.
Welfare Checks

Patients or carers will be contacted within 24 hours of hospital discharge to check you have made a successful journey home and to ensure you are managing. We are working in partnership with Age UK who will sign post onwards or provide advice and contract services as needed.

If you need care, who will pay for it?

If you need extra support when you leave hospital, short-term care will be put in place for you until your long-term needs are assessed. We will talk to you, your family and, or carer to help make any decisions.
A Financial assessment is needed to find out if you need to pay for your care, a social care worker will support you with this.

Useful Contact Numbers

NHS 111 and Out-of-Hours GP Service (24-hour confidential health advice and information) – 111
Emergency Services 24/7 (support with serious and life-threatening conditions) – 999
Gateshead Foundation Trust Hospital – 0191 482 0000

Gateshead Community Services

Rapid Response Team – 0191 445 8400
(Prevent deterioration in health and wellbeing, be as independent as possible, avoiding the need for hospital admission or long-term care)
Localities (District Nurses, Community Nurse Practitioners, and phlebotomy)
East 0191 4403872
Central – 0191 445 5441
West – 0191 283 4599
Inner West – 0191 2834619
Out-of-hours Palliative Care Team – 0782 446 1957
(Provides out-of-hours, specialist advice and care to palliative and end of life care patients. For advice during normal working hours please call your District Nurse based in your Locality team)
Adult Social Care – 0191 433 7033
(A team of social workers and therapists, providing support and advice about your care)
Age Concern – 0191 477 3559

If you have any questions about your hospital discharge, please make a note of them here:

Advice and Complaints

We work hard to make sure that your stay or visit is as comfortable and stress free as possible. There will be times when we exceed your expectations and times when we fall below the high standards that we set ourselves. When this happens, we want to know so we can feedback to our teams and let them know what they are doing really well and how we can improve in the future. All feedback is important to us, good and bad.

Contact our Advice and Complaints Service:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0191 445 6129 or Freephone 0800 953 0667
Opening times: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Data Protection

Any personal information is kept confidential. There may be occasions where your information needs to be shared with other care professionals to ensure you receive the best care possible.
In order to assist us to improve the services available, your information may be used for clinical audit, research, teaching and anonymised for National NHS Reviews and Statistics.
Further information is available via Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust website ( or by contacting the Data Protection Officer by telephone on 0191 445 8418 or by email [email protected].