Information for the public

Leaving hospital

Your care team should plan your discharge with you well in advance. They should work closely with any services in the community that will be supporting you after you've left. Depending on your circumstances this might be your GP, community mental health services, social care, housing or staff at a care home.

Your care team should let your family or carers know the date you will be leaving hospital and involve them in planning for this. They should discuss how you are, and what support you might need, if you've said this is OK. They should check whether your family or carers will need any extra help.

Your care team should offer you a chance to spend some time out of hospital before you're discharged, if you want to. This may help you to get used to life outside hospital again. If you were doing any work, training or learning before you went into hospital they should help you get back to this gradually, at a pace that feels right for you.

A plan for staying as well as possible

When you're getting ready to leave hospital, a member of your care team should help you make a plan for staying as well as possible in future. They should send a copy to everyone who will be involved in supporting you, including your GP. The plan should include:

  • your recovery goals

  • how to cope with your symptoms

  • what to do in a crisis

  • your medicines and treatment

  • any work, training, learning or social activities.

At discharge

Your care team should send your GP information about your discharge date, why you were admitted and how you are now (if you have agreed to this). They should give you a copy. They may book a follow-up appointment for you to see your GP in the first 2 weeks after you leave hospital.

Your care team should talk to you in detail about what other support you may need after you've left hospital. They should make sure you know who to talk to if you feel worried or scared, including out‑of‑hours.

Your care team should get in touch with you a few days after your discharge to check things are OK. They should be in touch sooner if they are worried you may not be coping well or if they think you may harm yourself.

There are also some organisations that could help – see where can I find out more?

  • Information Standard