When you leave our Hospital
We will start talking with you about when you are due to leave hospital from the time you are booked for a procedure or admitted into hospital. This is called discharge planning. Discharge planning relies on good communication between patients, staff and carers. You and your carer may be invited to a meeting with staff called a ‘family conference’ to help with discharge planning.
Your healthcare team along with other key people such as your family, carer or general practitioner (GP) will be involved in planning for when you go home.
We start to plan for when you go home to make sure you are as prepared as possible and any additional needs are organised.
Before you leave hospital to go home:
- Our nurses will tell you if your doctor, pharmacist, occupational therapist or anyone else needs to see you before you leave hospital and when this will happen.
- You will be given a discharge referral. Give this letter to your local doctor (GP). It gives them a summary of your hospital stay, your condition when you left hospital and any follow-up appointments that you need to attend.
- You will be given a list of follow-up appointments to attend at the hospital. Your health care team will tell you if you need to organise any other appointments as well.
- You will be given a clear explanation of any changes that have been made to your medicines. You should also be provided with an updated list of medicines in a format you can understand. If you do not receive information about your medicines at the time of discharge, or you are unsure about how to take your medicines when you leave hospital, please let a member of staff know immediately.
- Depending on your health condition you may be given medicines for up to five days. A script may also be provided for you to take to your local pharmacist. If you need to take any medicines while you are waiting to go home the nurses will give these to you.
- If you have any questions about what you need to do when you leave hospital then please ask one of our nurses.
You will need to have someone over the age of 18 accompany you home. If you live alone, someone should stay with you for the first few days at home and be there to help you. Easily prepared food and drink should be available.
If you do not have someone to support you when you leave hospital please ask to speak with a social worker.
About the Patient Discharge Lounge (PDL)
The Patient Discharge Lounge is open Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 5.00pm. Telephone 9382 7950.
It provides a comfortable and safe place to stay while waiting for a relative/friend to collect you to go home, or to be transported to another health care service.
The lounge has reclining chairs, TV, air- conditioning and magazines. You will be offered sandwiches and drinks for lunch, and tea and coffee is available. Please let us know if you are on a special diet.
Collecting a relative or friend from the Patient Discharge Lounge
The Patient Discharge Lounge (Parkes 2 West) can be found on the second floor of the Parkes building.
The closest entrance to the Patient Discharge Lounge is High Street. Some parking bays are available for collecting relatives or friends. If you cannot park at the High Street entrance staff can help bring your relative or friend to your car. There is no free parking at the Barker Street entrance.
Patient services assistants (PSAs) are available to wheel your relative or friend from the Patient Discharge Lounge to your car in a wheelchair. If a PSA is not available a nurse will help you get your relative or friend into your vehicle.
From High Street
The closest entrance is from High Street and you will enter on Level 2. Follow the main corridor from the High Street entrance to the Parkes building. You will see the sign to the Patient Discharge Lounge on your right.
From Barker Street
Enter through the main entrance on Level 0. Follow the signs to Prince of Wales Hospital Dickinson building. Take the Dickinson lifts to Level 2. Follow the signs to the Parkes building and you will see the sign to the Patient Discharge Lounge on your left.
What to take with you when you go home
Along with your personal items remember to take any x-rays or medicines you brought to hospital with you.
To find out more about your transport options click here.
“I was so keen to get home that I probably over-estimated my fitness and ended up leaning more heavily on my kids to help out. They were worried about me.” ~ patient in aged care
If your health care needs have changed and you require extra help with personal care tasks such as showering, or general household chores like shopping, cleaning and gardening talk to your occupational therapist or social worker about the options available or call Commonwealth Carelink on 1800 052 222.
Managing your medicines
Before you go home a doctor, pharmacist or nurse will explain what medicines you need to take and why. When you leave hospital you will also be given a letter to take to your local doctor (GP). This is written by your hospital doctor and describes your progress and treatment while you were in hospital. It will include a list of your current medicines.
When you leave hospital you may be given some medicines for your first few days at home.
Sometimes you will be given a prescription instead which you will need to take to a community pharmacy. If you only have a few days’ supply it is important you visit your GP as soon as possible to get a prescription for more.
It is very important that you and your carer (if you have one) understand what medicines you need to take and how to take them, as your medicines may be different to the ones you were taking before you came to hospital. If you are unsure about anything, please ask staff before leaving.
GP appointments may not be necessary if you are receiving home care or who are given follow-up outpatient appointments at the hospital.
Follow-up visits with your doctor
As well as the doctor’s letter and your list of medicines, you may be given the date and time for a follow-up appointment at the hospital or with one of our doctors. You may be told that you need to follow-up with your general practitioner only. If you need a medical certificate please ask the local doctor (GP) only looking after you to give you one.
Some patients will need extra help in their home after they get home. This might include medical visits, physiotherapy and special equipment. There are several services which assess and manage extra help with the aim of ensuring people get better as quickly as possible in the comfort of their own home. Please talk to staff about these services before leaving hospital.
Residential aged care facilities
The health and support needs of older people can change a lot after they leave hospital. Carers may find they are not able to provide the amount of care required by these increased needs, or that the situation at home does not provide the level of safety and comfort required.
If you (or someone you care for) has had an injury or illness and are unable to return home after your stay in hospital please ask to speak to one of our social workers. They will organise for a colleague to come and talk to you about your options.
The Australian Government’s My Aged Care website and phone line (1800 200 422 Monday to Friday 8.00am - 8.00pm and Saturday 10.00am - 2.00pm) can give you information and help you access aged care services.
If you or your relative are concerned about something once they are at home, please contact your GP (family doctor). If the Hospital in the Home or Community Health services are involved, you can telephone them for advice.