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Going home

We want you to feel comfortable about going home after your stay with us. It can feel daunting but our support doesn’t stop when you leave hospital (known as being discharged). 

We’ll help to make the transition as easy as possible so that you can fully recover at home in familiar surroundings. 

Helping your recovery

Being at home is often the best place to recover after your stay in hospital. You’re in a familiar environment and may feel more relaxed, and able to sleep better without noise and distractions. You have easier access to friends and family to support you, and can get back into a routine that suits you and your recovery.

We’ll plan your discharge as soon as you arrive for your stay.  

We’ll work with you (and your family/carers) to make sure everything’s in place for you to safely leave hospital as soon as doctors say you’re well enough. 

It’s important to arrange a safe and timely discharge as your health may decline if you stay in hospital for longer than you need to. 

Our aim is for you to leave hospital when you’re clinically able to. 


When you leave hospital, the aim is for you to return home. Occasionally you may need further care at an inpatient rehabilitation unit, a residential or nursing home. You may need to live with family.  

Everyone’s needs differ and we’ll work with you and our colleagues in the community to agree the best place for you to be. There’s lots of services available to help you make this possible as soon as you are medically fit. 

The nurse in charge of your ward. A discharge coordinator may also help, for example, if you need additional support when you leave hospital. With your permission, we’ll also contact your family/carers to discuss your return home. 

If you need extra support we’ll contact: 

  • a physiotherapist to assess your physical abilities
  • an occupational therapist to assess how you’ll cope at home and if you’ll need any equipment or aids
  • a district nurse who may help with any nursing care requirements
  • your GP practice who may help with your ongoing medical care
  • any other specialist who may be involved in your care.

If you don’t need additional medical care, but you’re unable to live independently without family or carers, we’ll refer you to  Buckinghamshire Council its short term support services, such as the Home Independence Service, will help you regain independence with residential or home-based services available for up to 6 weeks, depending on your needs. 

They’ll need to arrange: 

  • transport home
  • some outdoor clothes for you to travel home
  • your house keys to be with you or someone to be at your home to meet you
  • your heating turned on at home during the winter months
  • food in your house

Ask a friend or relative to visit you after you get home to make sure you have everything you need and that you’re comfortable.  

You need to make your own arrangements for getting home unless your healthcare team tells you that you need hospital transport. If you have any difficulties arranging transport yourself, please tell the nursing staff as soon as possible. 

You must arrange for a friend or a relative to collect you from the ward on the day of discharge. The nurse will provide advice for you to follow on your discharge home.

We’ll give you a copy of the discharge letter for your records. Your GP will also get a letter electronically.

When you’re ready to go home we’ll: 

  • help you pack away your belongings including any valuables that you gave to staff for safekeeping 
  • give you any medication you have been prescribed and explain how to take it 
  • discuss the details of any follow up appointments or tests 
  • provide you with any equipment, for example, a walking aid 
  • arrange hospital transport if you have a specified need.

After major surgery it’s beneficial to organise someone to stay with you for support and assistance.

Most people leave hospital and don’t need any further help. We may however have arranged for a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or district nurse to visit you in your home. 

If you feel you need extra help, you can contact your GP who will have access to your care and treatment in hospital.  

You can also access help from a range or organisations across Buckinghamshire. 

For help with shopping and signposting  

Call the Red Cross Support at Home Service on 01296 739303. 

For advice for adults in later life  

Call Age UK Bucks on 01296 431 911 or the Age UK Advice line on 0800 169 65 65 (Monday to Sunday, 8am to 7pm). 

For advice for family carers

Carers Bucks provides a free information, advice and emotional support service to unpaid carers who have relatives in hospital, and beyond their hospital stay. Call 0300 777 2722 during working hours and ask for the hospital support team.

For those struggling to manage after leaving hospital 

Call the Adult Social Care First Response Team on 01296 383204. 

Visit Buckinghamshire Council’s website for details on social care and getting medical aids for your home  

Feedback on your care and treatment 

We want to hear your thoughts and suggestions, compliments and any issues you may have experienced during your stay.

Your feedback is really important to us and helps improve our services. A thank you to a member of staff can help them feel valued and appreciated.

Find out how to give us feedback