There may come a time when the person being cared for has to go into hospital. This can be a very difficult time for carers, especially if there has been a significant change in the person’s health. Trying to make decisions on behalf of someone else under difficult circumstances can put a lot of strain on a carers health and wellbeing.
We have been working closely with some of Trafford’s hospitals and now have Carer Liason Workers based at Trafford General and Moorside Unit to support carers to be as involved as possible with the admission & discharge of the person being cared for. After all, carers are most likely to be the best placed person to provide information to help hospital staff.
For those who choose to continue with the role of carer, our staff will help you understand the support available.
We are also available to:
- Attend best interest, care planning and discharge planning meetings with you and act as an advocate, if you would find this helpful.
- Talk you through the hospital processes.
- Help you to look at financial support / benefits for you and the person you care for.
- Advise you whether you are entitled to a carers assessment and help you organise this.
- Provide you with information about carer services in your local area (sitting service/counselling/training sessions, etc).
- Help you communicate your needs or concerns to ward staff
For more information on how we can support you please call us on 0161 848 2400
What else should you know:
Discharge From Hospital
A person cannot be formally discharged from hospital until his/her medical condition is stable and they can be moved safely. Until then, the person’s care is the responsibility of a named doctor, usually the consultant.
Discharge from hospital should be planned at the earliest opportunity, ensuring that individuals and their carers, where appropriate, are able to contribute to putting together plans for what will happen when individuals return to the community. Very often a family member will take on the role of carer, and should be given a choice as to which aspects of care they wish to carry out.
An assessment should be made looking at the care and support the person you look after will receive on discharge from hospital. The assessment should be carried out jointly by the NHS and Social Services. The assessment process should start as soon as possible, ideally with the patient’s active participation and where appropriate the carer’s.
Carers should be involved in any home visits by an occupational therapist and have the opportunity to discuss what equipment and adaptations to the home might help you and the person you care for.
From this assessment, a care plan should be drawn up. A care plan should detail all the support that will be needed when the person returns home. This may include home care, day care, equipment or transport. It should also include the contact details of those services. Support services should be arranged to start on the required date.
Any necessary aids and adaptations should be supplied with full instructions and training where necessary.
If the patient will be receiving support from Social Services after their discharge from hospital, then a financial assessment will be carried out. This is to work out how much the person will be expected to contribute towards the cost of the care. The patient should also be given information about the charges for services.
Date of Discharge
Patients and carers should be given adequate warning of the date of discharge. Special care needs to be taken if the discharge has been arranged for a Friday afternoon, weekend or before a bank holiday to ensure services are in place.
Appropriate transport should be arranged including an escort if needed.
The home of a person living alone should be prepared for their return. For example:
- Is the house warm enough?
- Is there food in the house?
- Is there money in the electricity meter?
- Does the person have money?
The patient and carer should be given clear information about any medication, dietary needs or special treatment.
This is not an exhaustive list but will help you to understand the discharge process and what you should consider to ensure that you are in the best place to make a decision about continuing care.
For more information call our helpline on 0161 848 2400.