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Going into and leaving hospital

If you go into hospital, or are leaving hospital, you may want to consider some important things.

Going into hospital 

Going into hospital can be a difficult time. You may need to go to hospital for planned tests or treatment or admitted in an emergency. 

If your treatment is planned, a little preparation can make things easier. 

Who will look after things while you are in hospital? 

Think about who will look after things while you are away. 

You may need to arrange with a family member or friend to help out with things like checking on your home, picking up post or looking after your pet. 

Do you look after someone else? 

If you look after someone else, you will need to find someone to take over this role while you are in hospital. And possibly for a while, when you come home. 

If you are a carer, both you and the person you look after may be entitled to support from the council. For more information, see our section on support for carers

Sorting out money and benefits 

When you or a member of your family go into or come out of hospital, the benefits you get may change.

This depends on the type of benefit you get, and the length of time you stay in hospital. It can also affect your partner or carers benefits. 

To find out more, visit the Turn2us website

Preparing for your stay 

Your hospital should provide you with information about how to prepare for your stay, what you should bring with you, as well as other information on what to expect when you arrive. Contact your local hospital for more information. 

You can also find guidance about going into hospital from: 

What happens when you arrive at hospital? 

The NHS has a video which explains your stay in hospital and what to expect

Age UK has a comprehensive guide called 'Your hospital stay'. It explains what to expect when going into hospital, what should happen while you're in hospital, and the steps that should be taken to prepare for your discharge. 

Before you leave hospital 

Hospital staff may contact Adult Social Care to arrange a discharge assessment. This is so they can find out what help you need when you go home. 

You will be involved in the assessment and agree a care and support plan together. 

This should include things like: 

  • treatment and care when you get home 
  • who's in charge of your care and how to contact them 
  • when and how often you need care 

NHS has more information about arranging care before you leave hospital

Leaving hospital 

When you leave hospital, you will be given a discharge summary and a copy will be sent to your GP. This will provide information about your treatment and future care needs. 

The NHS has more information about what happens when you leave hospital (discharge)

Age UK has guidance on leaving hospital

Temporary care 

If you have had a short illness or an operation, you might only need care for a short time to get back to normal. This is called intermediate care, reablement or aftercare. 

Ongoing care 

Soon after you leave hospital, your social care team will check if your care plan is right. 

If you're likely to need care for longer than six weeks, they will work with you to put a care plan in place. 

Home from hospital 

Some local organisations offer home from hospital services. This might involve someone visiting you at home for a short time after you're discharged to help with tasks such as shopping, collecting pensions or picking up prescriptions. 

Check to see if the following offer home from hospital services in your area: