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Fact sheet

Hospital Discharge - Scotland

Identification of carers by Hospital staff

NHS Carer Information Strategies must as a minimum set out how carer identification, the provision of targeted information to carers, carer signposting on to sources of advice and support, and advising carers of their right to an assessment is integrated into hospital discharge procedures and admission procedures

NHS Carer Information Strategies must demonstrate how hospital staff ensure that carers are routinely identified and given targeted information and how staff ensure that carers are signposted to appropriate support services and made aware of their right to an assessment.

The Home from Hospital Initiative – a partnership initiative involving:

  • NHS Lothian
  • Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust
  • West Lothian Health Care NHS Trust
  • Lothian University Hospital NHS Trust

The Home from Hospital Initiative is based on a recognition that when patients are discharged from hospital following an accident or acute illness such as a stroke or heart attack, a member of their family, a friend or a neighbour will be taking on some or all of the duties of a carer, often for the first time. This point is therefore an important opportunity to identify and support carers at the start of their caring responsibilities.

An information pack was produced to make the journey from hospital to home easier for people and to offer families and carers signposts for help and support.

Download the information pack here:

VOCAL - Home from Hospital (57 KB)

The folder is available in every ward of Lothian University Hospital and all General Practitioners. It is available in four main community languages in addition to English. It is also available in large print, Braille and audiotape.

There is one person in every ward who is responsible for arranging re-ordering and distribution of the folder. This ensures one point of liaison on the ward; someone who sees that it is effectively used by care staff to encourage more direct involvement with patients, their families and carers.

The information is divided into six separate sections:

  1. Before leaving hospital – discharge planning
  2. After leaving hospital – services in your community
  3. Finance – costs and benefits
  4. Being a carer – support for you
  5. Where now? – useful contacts
  6. Checklists – asking questions

Benefits to carers and patients

The initiative:

  • provides information regarding community care services and how to access them
  • provides carers with support at the point of discharge by helping them to make effective choices about their involvement in future care arrangements
  • allows carers the opportunity to consider their own health needs
  • encourages carers to seek out information which will help them to be more effective in their caring role

Benefits to hospital staff

The initiative:

  • supports good practice when planning discharge, by encouraging recognition of carers and their role in providing care
  • increases access to specialist support services to which they can refer carers for information, support and advice increases links with the community and access to the local community services

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