Getting discharged from hospital

We'll monitor your progress in hospital and make sure it's safe for you to be back home.

In a hospital, we call this a discharge.

Before you go home, we'll talk with you about:

  • the plan for your ongoing care
  • what you can and can't do when you go home
  • any questions you have.

You may need to keep getting treatment when you get home. You may also need some home support services, follow up visits with specialists, or clinic appointments.

Ask the staff who to contact if you have any problems after you leave. You can contact your GP too.

Planning to go home

Planning your discharge is an important part of your recovery process. We aim to help you leave the hospital as soon as you are well enough.

Together, we'll work on a plan to get you home, and what happens after that.

For you, this means:

  • taking part in all the discussions and decisions about your care
  • understanding how your choices and lifestyle can affect your recovery
  • talking with your family or carers about anything you need to do when you're home.

It's important for you to take an active part in these decisions.

When you'll go home

Your discharge time depends on the ward and hospital.

If you can't leave hospital at the suggested time, talk to our staff. We'll make sure you're cared for until you can get home.

Medications for home

We'll let you know about changes to your medication, or any new medicine that you'll need to take. We'll tell you what they are and when you need to take them.

Check if you need more medicine from the pharmacy before leaving the hospital. There are some medications that you can only get from the hospital pharmacy.

Before you leave

Make sure your nurse or doctor gives you:

  • your discharge letter
  • your care plan
  • your follow up outpatient appointment details
  • any new medication, scripts and instructions
  • arrangements for community support services.

If you aren't sure about something, ask us to make it clearer.

Also make sure:

  • you know who to contact if you have any questions or concerns
  • you have all your personal belongings
  • you've collected any items held for you
  • your contact details are correct
  • you've got any medical certificates that you need for work or study
  • you have transport home
  • you've arranged any equipment or aids you need to get by at home.

After you leave hospital, you might need to come back for follow up appointments. You'll get details about this in an appointment card or letter.

If you can’t get to an appointment, let us know so we can give your appointment slot to someone else. Call us on the phone number on your appointment letter.

Leaving hospital against medical advice

Leaving hospital before you're ready could put your health at risk.

If you decide to leave against our medical advice, we'll ask you to sign a disclaimer form. This form is a record that you've chosen to go home against our advice.

You should come back to hospital if your condition doesn't improve. It's okay to come back, even if you left against our advice.

Getting home from hospital

We recommend that you have someone to help you get home safely. If you can, ask a family member or friend to pick you up from hospital. Make a plan before you're discharged.

If you need help getting home, let us know.

Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS)

You may have had to travel a long way to get to hospital. If so, you'll probably be able to get help with travel and accommodation costs to get back home.

To find out more:

Last updated: September 2023