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Going into hospital

Getting ready for a hospital stay, transport, support during your stay and help when you come home.

Most of us will want to return home from hospital.  However, many people do not feel confident that they can cope, particularly after a longer stay in hospital. Fortunately, there is a lot of help available to get you back on your feet. This page describes this help and gives advice on what to do before you go into hospital.

What to do before going into hospital

If your visit to hospital is planned, and you are already receiving support from us, please contact your social care local office. We will then arrange to have your social care services suspended until you are ready to leave hospital.

If you are living with someone at home who may have difficulty coping whilst you're in hospital, then tell us. If you are that person's carer, then you might want to look at our information for carers pages.

The Government has published a leaflet (opens in a new window) describing the benefits that might be affected if you go into hospital.

Age UK (opens in a new window) has advice for older people going into hospital. 

Transport to and from hospital

If you cannot get to the hospital for an appointment, you may be eligible for transport provided by the hospital. The NHS (opens in a new window) has details including a leaflet you can download.

If friends or relatives are having transport difficulties visiting you in hospital, the voluntary car scheme might be able to help. The scheme helps people in rural areas who are not able to use public transport or who have no other way of making essential trips. We also have details of public transport facilities and community transport.   

Whilst in hospital

Many people can feel overwhelmed in hospital; there is often a lot of activity in an unfamiliar setting, and you may be feeling vulnerable and anxious. Although the hospital staff are there to help you, you might want to talk to someone who is independent. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service, known as PALS (opens in a new window), is based in all main hospitals and provides confidential advice and support to anyone who has concerns about the services provided by their hospital or who needs advice about the NHS.

Before coming home

Coming out of hospital can be a time of mixed feelings. Although you will probably be looking forward to getting home, you may also worry about how you will cope. If so, please ask to speak to someone from our social services team (the hospital staff may even contact us on your behalf).  A member of the team will arrange to visit you, and your friends and family if you wish, on the ward.

During that visit, we will talk to you about support you might need to return home. This might include a short period of intensive support at home - what we call reablement. A small number of people might need longer term support at home. We might also recommend home adaptations and equipment or electronic aids to help you with daily living and we also offer support to your carer. Even if you do not meet our eligibility criteria for care, we will provide information and advice about a range of services and organisations that will be able to help you.

Finally, you might find the following information useful:

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