This information is for carers and the person being cared for. It gives advice about the first 48 hours after discharge from hospital.
This may be a worrying time for you. There may be a whole lot of new issues to tackle. We do not want to overwhelm you with information. Keep this somewhere you can easily get to. You can always refer back to it when you need it.
Plan for an emergency
It is sensible to be prepared in case something happens to you or the person you care for.
Some local authorities, such as Richmondand Kingston,offer Carer’s Emergency Cards. This is a card for you to carry with you at all times. It is recognised by local emergency services. This scheme ensures that emergency cover can be put in place if something happens to you.
Keep a list of emergency contacts in a useful place, such as on a fridge.
Create a contact in your phone called ‘In Case of Emergency (ICE)’. Here you can list the details of who you wish to be called in an emergency.
The person you care for should have been sent home with enough of their medicines for 7 days. If they need to continue taking them beyond the first week, it is important to get a repeat prescription from their GP. Remember, some surgeries require 48 hours’ notice to process prescriptions.
Your local pharmacy can help you both to understand the prescriptions. If the person you are caring for has been prescribed a new medicine to treat a long-term condition, they may be able to get extra help and advice about the medicine from their local pharmacist through a free scheme call the New Medicine Service. The pharmacist will support you over several weeks to use the medicines safely and to best effect.
Contact the ward for advice if the person you care for has not received enough medicines for the first 7 days, or has not received their TTO (To Take Out) medicines form.
The person you care for may have been provided with equipment to use at home. It is important that they and/or you have been shown how to use it. Contact the ward team if you have questions about this after discharge.
If you have agreed for the hospital to refer you to your local carers’ centre, you can expect to have had contact with them within 2 weeks of the person you care for leaving hospital. Even if you did not want a referral, our website explains what support is available (see table at the bottom of this page).
Arrange a follow-up appointment if the person you care for needs one. Who to contact will be listed in your discharge letter.
Get any medical certificates they may need, for example, a sick note.
Make sure you know where to get any supplies you may need and who to call if you need help with the equipment.
Questions it may be useful to ask
Am I registered as the main carer/next-of-kin on the hospital records?
Do the hospital and social care teams have my contact details?
Do I understand the next steps for my person’s treatment and care?
Do I understand my rights as a carer and how to find out more?
Do I understand how to use the equipment provided? Who can I talk to about this?
If I have a concern about the condition of the person I care for, who do I call?
Can I also receive a discharge plan or letter?
Rehabilitation support (sometimes called ‘Rehabilitation and reablement services’) is available to those that need it when they leave hospital. The first six weeks are available free of charge on the NHS.
The person you care for may have been assessed as being eligible for care at home. If so, it is important to talk to the hospital team before discharge to ensure this care can be organised.
This support can help build everyone’s confidence and reduce the chances of going back into hospital. If the support is needed after 6 weeks, the person you care for will require a needs assessment by their local authority. This will also include a financial assessment to decide if they need to pay for some or all of their care costs. Make sure you cancel this care package after six weeks if support is no longer required, or you may be charged.
Some carers can feel a bit lost after this 6-week care package comes to an end. It is important to consider if you will need support in your caring role going forward and plan ahead. Get in touch with your local adult social care service or carer’s centre to speak about your options. These are listed at the bottom of this page.
Looking after yourself
Many carers will spend a lot of time putting the needs of others before themselves. But it is so important that you remember to look after yourself and take care of your own needs too. You are not alone in this journey. See the list at the end of this letter of support available in your local area and who to talk to when you need help.
Being a working carer
You may have a paid job whilst also being an unpaid care. You are not alone. There are over five million working carers in the UK. Carers UKhave some useful information around your rights as a working carer.
You have the right to take time off in an emergency.
You have the right to request flexible working.
You do not have to tell your employer or colleagues about your caring role. But telling them may lead to more support from work.
You can ask your employer for a copy of your workplace Leave Policy and Carer’s Policy.
If you are looking to arrange support for the person you care for whilst you are at work, contact your local adult social care services or private care agencies. See the section below on Local Support for more information.
The Carers UK website has free factsheets, guides, tools and online learning to help you manage your caring responsibilities. Topics include:
health and wellbeing
practical support with caring, including short breaks
Sutton Council general enquiries 020 8770 5000 In an emergency, carers can contact: 020 8770 5000 020 8770 6080 minicom (for hearing impaired people) 020 8770 5178 The automated message may tell you that the office is closed but there are staff there to take your call. Please hold on until they answer.
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation.
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 8934 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For information accessibility please visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust
Visit the hospital website, ask a member of staff, or ring us for details.
Switchboard 020 8546 7711
‘Find Us’ page for maps, transport, registering a blue badge, disabled access
Information, advice and support for patients and relatives (PALS) 020 8934 3993
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.
Request More Information
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For detailed information on accessibility at Kingston Hospital visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble (https://www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust).
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