Leaving Kingston Hospital

Leaving hospital

You may feel safer in hospital. However, if you no longer need hospital treatment, this is not the best place for you. Longer stays put you at risk of infection and other health risks, as well as loss of mobility and independence.

You will recover more quickly after you leave hospital.

Most people return to their usual home under the care of a GP and, where appropriate, community healthcare teams.

Diary planner

Planning early

From the start of your hospital stay, we work with you to plan how and when you will leave hospital (discharge). You (and a family member or friend who may be helping you) are key members of the planning team.

We have a list of things to think about when you are getting ready to go home.

When you cannot go back to live at home

Nurse and elderly person

A few people cannot go home. This might be because, in the short term, they need help or easy access to a bathroom.

Some people need a lot of care and support and the best place for this is in a community hospital or home.

However, you do not have a right to stay in hospital if you no longer need hospital care.

If you need an assessment or help from local health and social care teams after you leave, we will make sure they know the next steps for your care and treatment.

Once you are home, social care teams will work with you to make decisions about your longer-term health and care needs.  

Discharge team

If you need care after being in hospital or are unable to return home, the Discharge Teamwill work with community health and social care to arrange this for you.

We aim to get you to the right place as quickly as possible. If your preferred choice of placement or package is not available, we help to find a suitable alternative.

You, your family or your carer (if you have one) should tell your nurse as soon as possible if you think you will need help when you get home.

Phone iconCall the Discharge Team on 020 8934 3441 or dial 3441 from a ward phone.


All patients need to arrange their own transport home. This could be with friends or family, a carer, public transport or taxi.

Start to plan how you will get home as soon as discussions begin about leaving hospital.

Ambulance transport can only be provided for patients who have a medical need and who cannot travel by any other means. Most patients do not need to travel by ambulance.

Tell your nurse if you need advice about getting home.

Person standing next to car

Our website has details of schemes that can help with travel costs. Being unable or unwilling to pay for your own transport is not a valid reason for needing an ambulance.

If you are eligible for hospital transport and are travelling home by ambulance, you may need to wait in our Patient Transport Waiting Room on your day of discharge.

Discharge lounge

Discharge lounge

You may be taken to a discharge lounge if you need to wait for your medicines or for someone to collect you on the day of your discharge.

Nursing staff are there to look after you.

You will be offered meals, snacks and drinks.

Important things to have when you leave

It is important you have a copy of your discharge summary and your medicines before you leave hospital.

You should also be given information about who to contact if you have any concerns or if your condition changes after you have gone home.

Envelope with information

The discharge summary sets out:

  • the care and treatment you have had
  • medicines you are taking home
  • next steps in your care and treatment, if any.

We will send your discharge summary directly to your GP.

If you are going to a different hospital or care home, we will send them a copy too.

Medicines to take home

Medicines in a row
  • We will give you up to two weeks’ supply of medicines to take home with you unless you already have a supply at home. You will also be given a letter to your GP so that they can arrange a repeat prescription.

Some GPs need up to 2 days’ notice to arrange repeat prescriptions.

  • We want you to be certain before you leave that you understand what medicines you should take at home and how to take them safely. If you are unsure, ask a nurse before you leave. Once you get home, you can also contact the Medicines Information Helpline (see below).
  • We will make sure you take home any medicines you brought in with you, if you still need to take them.

Medicines Information Helpline

Once you have left hospital, you can contact our Medicines Information Helpline with any concerns, queries or worries about your medicines.

Phone iconCall 020 8934 2092 (Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 5.00pm).

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