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Discharge planning

Planning to get you home (discharge planning) is a complicated process, and involves coordinating a surprising number of health care staff eg doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, pharmacists, etc, etc.The coronavirus outbreak can make things even more complicated.Some hospitals, unfortunately, have had to discharge people home a little more quickly than they normally would, due to extreme pressure on beds. Sometimes, patients themselves ask go home more quickly than we would like, as they are (understandably) keen to be reunited with their families. It's very important, particularly if you're discharged home with ongoing COVID symptoms, that you think about the following things:

  • Social distancing/shielding: You and your family will need to follow the current Government guidance. This will change as the pandemic evolves, and may be different in different countries across the UK. There are links to regularly updated UK Government websites on the Homepage of this website. 
  • Getting essential supplies, like food and medicines:  This may be difficult to do in person, if you and your family are social distancing. Think about asking other family and friends who don't live with you to help out. Many supermarkets and pharmacies will deliver what you need to your home. 
  • Getting healthcare advice: Many ICUs and hospitals are offering a follow-up call after you get home. It's common in COVID-19 to feel a little breathless and/or have a cough for a few weeks.Think about phoning your GP for a telephone appointment, even if you feel okay.You should get in touch with your GP if any of your symptoms change or worsen e.g. if you become more breathless or start to produce more phlegm (spit) or different coloured phlegm, as this may be a sign of infection.   

We have provided information, advice and support for many other aspects of life at home in the rest of this section. 

 

 

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Article: Hospital discharge letter

What is a hospital discharge letter? A hospital discharge letter is a brief medical summary of your hospital admission and the treatment you received whilst in hospital.It is usually written by one of the ward doctors. The Intensive Care doctors will usually write a separate letter to your GP, telling them about how and why you ended up in Intensive Care and your treatment while you were there.You won't normally receive a copy of this, however. What if I don't...

Web Link: Hospital discharge planning-what to expect

Patients should be fully involved in planning for going home and should be kept informed of any changes. Each hospital has its own policy and arrangements for discharging patients. Nevertheless, there are often standards of care and information that must be met for patients and their family members. Going gome from hospital can, and often does, involve a number of different health and social care professionals, and it’s a good idea to know who is involved in arranging your discharge...

Article: Medication

Will I go home on the same medication? You may find that you go home with more or sometimes less medication than you were taking before.It is not unusual for some of your normal medications to be stopped or to have new ones started. How can I find out more about any new medications? Ask your nurse, doctor or the ward pharmacist to explain what your new medications are for, how and when to take them, any side effects to look out for, or if they are likely to interfere with...

Web Link: Medicines explained

This link will take you to an NHS page explaining how 100s of different medications work, what they're for, how to take them and possible side-effects. It's not exhaustive, but we hope you find it helpful.