Discharge planning is an important part of any hospital admission. It plays an important role in ensuring a smooth move from hospital to home. This is achieved by making sure that appropriate clinical and community based support services are in place if required.
There are a number of people that can help plan your discharge:
- You and your family or carer(s) can alert us if your circumstances are such that you may need additional support in the community
- Your treating doctor can help identify any special requirements you may have
- Nursing and Allied Health staff may help identify services that you may require
- Discharge Planner can provide an assessment and arrange any services needed to support you at home immediately after discharge
- Hospitals are responsible for making sure all issues that may affect your care after discharge are addressed before you leave the hospital
It is vital that any special needs following discharge are identified early so that the appropriate discharge plans can be made. We encourage patients to discuss any issues with the health care team. These issues may be present for individuals who:
- live alone
- are responsible for another person e.g. Frail partner, young children
- used community services prior to admission to hospital e.g. Meal on Wheels, community nurses
- require assistance to care for yourself e.g. showering
It is important that you consider all available options for care at home if your care needs have altered. Please note: Community services are not always readily available and not all patients are eligible for funded services
Your Discharge Planning Checklist:
These are the major factors to be considered in discharge planning. It is important for you to discuss the following with the hospital staff during your stay in hospital.
- Your expected date of discharge – this will help you plan your return home
- Inform the hospital of your living arrangements – e.g. do you live alone, is there someone who can assist you when you go home, what services you currently receive, are you the carer for someone in your home
- Expectations regarding your recovery and how long it will take to recover
- Any possible restrictions on your activities e.g. lifting, driving a car
- Your ability to cope at home either with or without a carer needs to be considered carefully – do you need to go to a nursing home or will you require community support services such as assistance with medication or cleaning
- Any equipment requirements to assist in your recovery and independence
- A Discharge Planner is available to assess your needs and to make arrangements for additional community support services if required.
- In some instances, the most appropriate care may involve admission to a nursing home or hostel (residential care). We recognise that this can be a major, and at times, difficult decision.
The Discharge Planner will guide you through the application process for residential care for either nursing home or hostel accommodation. They will provide you with information and advice. It is the responsible of the patient/family to locate a residential care facility bed. A copy of the “Five Steps” booklet including the asset assessment forms is available from the Care Coordinator.
Availability of Discharge Planner:
- The Discharge Planner is available during normal business hours from Monday to Friday
- There is no charge for the Discharge Planner at Port Macquarie Private Hospital.
- This service is available to all patients and their families throughout the patient’s hospital stay.
If you are concerned about your ability to cope at home please discuss your needs with your doctor or nurse who will then make a referral to the Discharge Planner for you.
- If services have been arranged for you and you have encountered a problem with the service please contact the service provider directly.
Community Nursing, Home Help and Personal Care Services:
Community Services are provided by a number of different organisations, many of whom have been providing this service for many years. For more information please contact the Discharge Planner.