If you or someone you know goes into hospital, help and support should be arranged before you go home (are discharged).
Hospital staff should contact social services to arrange a discharge assessment. This is so they can find out what help you need when you go home.
It doesn't matter if your hospital stay was planned or an emergency.
The assessment can happen in hospital, or they might visit your home.
It helps to have a key safe at home, or to leave keys with family or friends.
Speak to staff in charge of your discharge to make sure you have everything you need. This includes a date, care plan and equipment.
You'll be involved in the assessment and agree a care plan together.
This should include things like:
Hospital staff should make sure:
If you have had a short illness or an operation, you might only need care for a short time to get back to normal. This is called intermediate care, reablement or aftercare.
The aim of this type of short-term care is to help you:
Intermediate care is free for a maximum of 6 weeks. Most people receive this care for around 1 or 2 weeks.
Soon after you leave hospital, social services will check if your care plan is right.
If you're likely to need care for longer than 6 weeks, they'll work with you to put a care plan in place. This care isn't free.
Care plans are checked once a year, but if at any time you feel your care isn't right, contact social services and ask for a review.
You can complain if you're unhappy with your hospital discharge, or the discharge of someone you know.
For example, if:
Speak to the hospital staff who arranged your discharge.
Read more about the NHS complaints process.