COLUMN: Planning to get you home from hospital

Kapadia Suneil
Kapadia Suneil
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This month I’d like to talk about preparing for discharge out of hospital as there’s been lots in the news recently about patients in hospital beds who no longer require hospital care. Pilgrim Hospital has, at times, significant numbers of patients in a similar situation.

longer require hospital care. Pilgrim Hospital has, at times, significant numbers of patients in a similar situation.

In order to get you home as soon as possible when you no longer need to be in hospital, we need to be planning for this almost as soon as you have been admitted.

This is known as discharge planning and if this is done effectively, it has been shown that it can reduce the unnecessary amount of time you spend in hospital and the likelihood of an unexpected readmission.

If you or a loved one are admitted to hospital please ask staff when your discharge date is planned for, so that you can get prepared beforehand. It’s important to consider enlisting the help of friends, family and carers to make sure you have everything in place such as medications, the heating turned on, clean clothes, food in the fridge and transport to get you home, so we can avoid frustrating delays for you and everyone else.

If at any time you have concerns about going home then please let our staff know as soon as possible; these could include concerns about caring for yourself when you go home, how you’re getting home or how you’ll cope when you leave hospital. The staff on the ward have a lot of experience and will be happy to support and advise you accordingly.

Our hospital staff work extremely hard with patients, carers and relatives to ensure any planned discharge from hospital is going to be safe and effective. That way, we can ensure that there are beds available for people who most need them.

Dr Suneil Kapadia is the Medical Director of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.