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When you leave hospital

When you leave hospital

It is important that you and your family know what you are going to do when you leave hospital. When you are ready to leave hospital the ward staff should discuss with you how you are going to manage at home. If it is agreed that you may need some help it will be suggested that you speak to the hospital social work team, ask the nursing staff for details before you are discharged. They will make an assessment of your needs and if necessary make a referral to Social Services for a short term care package to be put in place. If you have a relative or friend who can help they should also have an assessment. The main concern is to make sure that you go home, knowing that you have the help you need to remain as independent as possible.

It is not usual practice for Social Services to arrange for you to go into a Residential or Nursing Home (unless your condition has deteriorated to the point where you can no longer cope in your own home). They prefer to supply you with the services which will enable you to live in your own home. If you decide it would be better for you to have a short stay in a Residential or Nursing home it should be somewhere in which you feel comfortable and secure. Also think about other practicalities such as making sure that relatives are able to get there to visit. For help and advice speak to your social worker or contact Help & Care on 0300 111 3303.

Hospital Social Work Teams are available at:

Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH)

Christchurch Hospital

Poole Hospital

Dorchester County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Will your mobility be affected?

You may find that after your stay in hospital you are unable to get about as well as you did before. You may also find that the small jobs around the home are more difficult. Perhaps you will find it difficult to climb the stairs or to wash and dress yourself. All these things need to be thought about before you leave the hospital so that you are able to manage when you get home. Speak to your hospital social worker will able to give you help and advice and also practical support once you get home. They will also be able to arrange for an Occupational Therapist to visit. An Occupational Therapist will advise you of, and help you obtain, any equipment that can make getting about the house easier and safer.

Useful information: Help & Care fact sheet – Equipment and aids to daily living.


Will you need help with every day tasks such as cleaning and shopping?

The hospital screening service or social work team should be able to help you find an agency to help. Social services do not provide help with shopping or housework unless it is an integral part of an overall care package.

Useful information: Help & Care fact sheets:

  • Help with shopping, personal care, and housework.
  • Shops and laundries that collect and deliver to your home.
  • Meals delivered to your home.
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