Help leaving hospital
Adult and Community Services and the hospitals in Wiltshire work very closely together to ensure hospital patients are discharged safely and are able to return to normal life as quickly as possible. This is achieved through the provision of social and health care services to those patients that are eligible. There are more details about eligibility for our services below.
When you come to leave hospital the Social Work Teams located within Wiltshire's three district hospitals (Salisbury District Hospital, The Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath and The Great Western Hospital (TGW) in Swindon) and the community hospitals in North, East and West Wiltshire can offer you support and advice. The Social Work Teams can also advise you if you are worried about the care of someone you have left at home, give you details of where you can find support when you get home and arrange the care most appropriate for you. Your family or friends will be involved in these discussions if you wish. Carers (partner, friend, relative who helps look after you, etc.) may also need advice and support and the social workers are available to discuss any issues with them and also give them details of Carer Support groups.
What type of help can I receive?
Examples of the help available to patients leaving hospital includes:
- Care management
- Occupational therapy
- Hospital social work
- Hearing and vision services (e.g. mobility training)
- Community social work
- Direct payments
- Domiciliary care
- Intermediate care
- Residential /nursing home placements
- Luncheon clubs
- Meals on wheels
- Day services
- Supported employment
- Supported living
How do I ask for this help?
There are a number of ways you can ask for help:
- Talk to the Doctors or Nurses in A&E, Acute Assessment Unit or the main wards of the hospital if you have any concerns about how you will manage when discharged home. They will talk to the appropriate professionals such as a Social Worker, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist
- If you had a Social Worker already working with you before your admission to hospital then ask to talk to them
- If you are coming into hospital for planned surgery
In order to determine the services that may be available to you upon leaving hospital an assessment of your situation will need to be undertaken. You are normally eligible for an assessment if you have a physical impairment, a sensory loss, a terminal illness, are developing confusion/dementia, are frail, are vulnerable to the risk of neglect or abuse, have a learning disability, have a severe mental illness, or are a carer. Assessments of social care needs are carried out by one of our Integrated Health and Social Care Teams.
As we receive more requests for help than there is available funding to cover, we have to decide: who should get a service, in what order of priority, how services can best be provided, whether we will provide the service ourselves or suggest another more appropriate organisation. This is to ensure that people in greatest need will get the most help. For more information please see our National Eligibility Criteria.
For more information please see our Going Home leaflet.
To find out more about intermediate care and reablement, see this fact sheet from AgeUK -AgeUK factsheet
For more information about patient choices to avoid a long hospital stay, see this fact sheet from NHS England, HealthWatch and the Local Government Association -Supporting patients' choices to avoid long hospital stays
For more information about help leaving the Great Western Hospital please look at the GWH web page about leaving hospital