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Leaving hospital

We hope we have made your stay as comfortable as possible. Our aim is to get you home as soon as you are well enough.

If you need further treatment this can be done in the comfort of your own home or a community hospital; this then helps us to free up beds for the most seriously ill patients.

What we will do

Planning for your discharge will start when you are admitted to hospital, or before. We will discuss your estimated date of discharge and your needs, and together agree a plan.

Most people go back home when they leave hospital; if you need community support services these can be arranged.

If your care needs can best be met in a community hospital, we will find and transfer you to the first available bed.

There are a number of community hospitals in Oxfordshire, so the first available bed may not be the one closest to where you live.

Our aim is to get you well as soon as possible.

Community hospitals

Community hospitals often act as a bridge between hospital and home, particularly for people who may need rehabilitation to help them regain their independence as they recover from an illness.

The number of inpatient beds each community hospital provides varies, as does the range of services they offer.

Many community hospitals also provide day services, outpatient clinics and therapy services. Some also provide Minor Injuries Units.

There are a number of community hospitals in Oxfordshire :

Community hospitals - Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Help after you get home

Risk of blood clots

After you leave the hospital, there is a risk that you may develop a blood clot. See a doctor or go to A&E immediately if you have any new redness, pain or swelling in your legs, have difficulty breathing, feel faint, cough up blood or have chest pain.

For information on blood clots and how to reduce the risk, download the app 'Let's Talk Clots'.

Support from social services

If you need further care after you leave hospital, a social worker will work out how much you will receive to pay for your personal care.

Depending on your financial situation, you may have to contribute to the cost of your care. Your social worker will ask you to complete a financial assessment form. You have seven working days to do this - ask your social worker if you need help to fill it in.

Sometimes living at home is no longer a practical option. We will work with you to decide the best course of action and may transfer you to a community hospital bed to help you reach your full potential: a team of nurses, social workers and therapists there will discuss your future needs.

Self Directed Support (SDS)

Self Directed Support is the process by which a person has choice and control over the support that they need. It is about arranging care to suit a person's individual preferences, such as staying in their own home.

If you have Self Directed Support in place, you are responsible for re-starting the care, and a referral to social services is not required. If an increase in care is required there may be enough in your budget to arrange extra support for a short period. If this is the case, you and the ward staff will discuss options for your care with the hospital social work team.

Continuing Healthcare

Continuing Healthcare is a scheme which provides NHS-funded care, for people with complex and unpredictable needs. Depending on your situation and the level of care required, this can be provided at home, in a nursing home or in an NHS-funded bed.

There is specific national guidance on who qualifies for Continuing Healthcare. The ward team caring for you will complete an assessment if they think you might qualify.

What we expect from you

We will expect you to be fully involved in planning your own discharge, together with a relative, carer or friend as appropriate.

Ensure you have:

  • all your belongings, including any valuables from the hospital safe
  • outdoor clothing and your house keys
  • food and drink available at home, and if necessary ask someone to turn on your heating
  • arrangements for adults or children you normally care for.

Please let us know the day before discharge if you require a medical (sick) certificate.

Please, do not take hospital nightwear or linen home with you when you leave.


You will need to arrange your own transport home. However, make sure you speak to ward staff about when your relative and/or carer should arrive, as often we will need to organise medication etc.

Hospital transport is for people who meet strict medical criteria only.


Medication which you brought into hospital, and still need, will be returned to you. If you have started new medication, you will be given a supply to take home. Your GP will then prescribe more if required.

We will explain your medication before you leave hospital. There are also written instructions with the medication and an information sheet may be provided.

For further information about your medication please call:

  • Patient Medications Helpline: 01865 228906
  • Monday to Friday 9.00am - 1.00pm

Day of discharge

Early on the day of your discharge from hospital we may ask you to move from your bed space to the Transfer Lounge or day room. The Transfer Lounge is staffed by qualified nurses and we offer drinks and meals so you can wait in comfort for your medication and your transport home.

We will give you:

  • a discharge letter detailing your hospital stay and further treatment
  • medication or equipment as required.

We will send a discharge letter to your GP explaining the reason for your hospital stay and giving details of your medication.

Follow-up appointment

If you need a follow-up appointment or further investigations, we will arrange this before you leave, or you will receive a letter after you leave hospital.

Help at home and equipment

If it is agreed that you need help at home, a discharge letter detailing support services will be sent to your GP. The support services will be arranged before you leave hospital. If you need equipment at home, we will agree arrangements with you.

If you have any concerns once you are at home, please either contact your GP, or the Social and Health Care Team.

Social and Health Care Team: 0845 050 7666


Leaflet: 'Planning your discharge - making preparations for your return home (pdf, 200 KB)

Live Well Oxfordshire

Live Well Oxfordshire is an easy-to-search online directory of support for people living well and independently in their communities.

Find information about:

  • 'formal' care services such as home care agencies and care homes
  • organisations that can help with shopping or gardening
  • hobbies and activities, such as exercise classes, lunch clubs and coffee mornings
  • support groups for people with health conditions.

Support for carers

Do you look after someone? Carers Oxfordshire listens to carers and provides information and advice. It also aims to help carers get the support they may need.

Let us know your views

We welcome your views on the care you have received in our hospitals.

Patient feedback

Last reviewed:28 November 2023