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Fact sheet


When a patient is discharged from hospital, it is often the case that only their needs are attended to and those of the carer ignored or overlooked. It is a critical moment for identification and referral, during which clear referral protocols should be etablished; these allow for the early identification of carers to ensure they are afforded the opportunity to be fully involved at all stages of the discharge planning process.

The other key factors to be aware of are:

  • Staff should actively promote carers’ rights to their own assessment to ensure their needs, as well as those they care for, are taken into account in discharge plans.
  • Carers should be provided with accurate and relevant information to assist them to make informed choices about their current and future caring role.
  • Ensure that, where possible, carers are linked into their local Carers' Centre services and other agencies to support them in their caring role.

In this section we look at examples from around our nationwide network of Carers' Centres that highlight the best practice of collaborative working in this area. Please click on the links below or in the menu to the right for more information.

Out of Hospital Project

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now known as Carers Trust) carried out a "Out of Hospital" pilot project in Swindon and Barnet. Our report on the project demonstrates practical ways to involve carers and patients at the point of hospital discharge and its benefits.This project was funded by GlaxoSmithKline.

Following are documents relevant to this project:

Out Of Hospital Final Report 6 May 2010 (569 KB)

Key Messages Edited Draft 4 (37 KB)

Out Of Hospital Report Report From Stage 1 (402 KB)

Carers as Partners in Hospital Discharge (671 KB)

Statements Of Support (132 KB)

For further information on the hospital disharge process from a carer perspective, take a look at Carers UK's coming out of hospital pages.