Once you have recovered from the acute phase of your surgery or illness, it is usual for you to continue your recovery at home. The staff caring for you will keep you updated regarding your planned discharge date. If you foresee any problems returning to your usual residence please discuss the issues with the staff caring for you or ask to see the Care Coordinator as soon as possible, so that plans can be put in place for your return home (refer to discharge planning). Before your discharge the ward nurse will inform you when to make appointments for follow up, order any medications you are to take home and make any other arrangements necessary for your after care.
On the day of your discharge it is expected that you will vacate your bed before 10am. If you are organising to be picked up, please make arrangements to fit this timeframe. If your transport is delayed you may be asked to wait in the lounge area of the ward or in the Discharge Lounge until you are picked up.
If you have had a general anaesthetic or sedation within the past 24 hours you will need to be accompanied home by a responsible adult. You should not drive a car, operate machinery or domestic appliances, conduct important business or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours following your anaesthetic.
Before you leave please ensure you have all your personal items (including those that have been left in Patient Trust), all medications, your x-rays and follow up instructions.
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:
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:
- 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
- Care Coordinators 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
- 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
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
Care Coordinators are 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 Care Coordinator 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.
Care Coordination at Greenslopes Private Hospital is available to all patients and their families throughout the patient’s hospital stay. Care Coordinators are available during normal business hours from Monday to Friday.
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 Care Coordinator for you.
If services have been arranged for you and you have encountered a problem with the service please contact the service provider directly. The contact details may be obtained from the Allied Health Assistant - Discharge on (07) 3394 7538.
Community Services are provided by a number of different organisations, many of whom have been providing this service for many years.
Home and Community Care (HACC) services are community services funded by the Commonwealth and State Government and are accessible for frail older people over 65 years, people with disabilities and their carers. The HACC program can provide domestic assistance, personal care, food services, community respite, transport and some home maintenance. There are fees associated with HACC services. However if you are concerned about your financial circumstance please let us know - the focus of HACC is to ensure that those who are eligible receive the support they require regardless of their income.
If you are not eligible for a HACC funded service or they have not been able to accept your referral (HACC services are limited), you may need to access your services under a “user pays” model from a service provider.
For eligible veterans and war widows a HACC funded service is offered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The Veteran’s Home Care service offers domestic assistance, garden maintenance and respite care to entitled veterans and war widows. There is a small charge for domestic assistance and garden maintenance.