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Fact sheet

Health

Hospital discharge

Good practice means that carers are identified as soon as it has become clear that the cared for person entering hospital will need ongoing support on discharge. This will enable proper arrangements to be made to consult and involve the carers or potential carers on discharge.

Carers have a legal right to a carer’s assessment. Carers should understand that they have a choice about caring and do not have to accept the responsibility. With the patient, they should be involved in drawing up a plan in preparation for the patient’s discharge and receive a written copy of the plan before discharge.

Carers should also:

  • be given information about the treatment and condition of the patient. This should include the medication being used and its possible side effects
  • have an occupational therapist visit, if special equipment or adaptations are needed
  • be given help and have sufficient time to visit potential care homes, if the patient is unable to be cared for at home
  • be given at least 24 hours notice prior to the person coming home from hospital

In addition, services to support the carer and the patient should be in place before the patient is discharged, including home care. In England services are provided free of charge for a 6 week period after discharge.

Primary Care

Primary Care also have a duty to identify carers and keep a register. Carers are entitled to services such as free flu jabs and may need to be contacted to attend clinics so keeping a register is essential. GPs also get additional payment for the support they offer carers.

Good practice examples

Local Solutions’ Carers Project provides an outreach service for carers, in partnership with the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust (RLBUHT).

The Home from Hospital service offers:

  • co-ordinated support services
  • accessing benefits
  • shopping
  • attending hospital appointments
  • respite care
  • signposting to other agencies

The Home from Hospital outreach worker acts as an advocate for carers, liaising with statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure access to services. The worker also provides support on a one-to-one basis or by telephone.

Further information and good practice examples are available in our section for health professionals working with carers.