When a loved one is in hospital the focus can be on getting them well enough to come home as soon as possible. There will often be important decisions to make first though, and staff should keep you informed and ensure support is in place for their return home.
A stay in hospital
The hospitals in our area, both acute and community, offer carers a variety of support whilst the person you are caring for is in hospital.
You should make it known to hospital staff on admission that you are the patient’s carer and give them your contact details.
John’s Campaign – all of our local hospitals have signed up to John’s campaign which entitles people looking after someone with dementia to stay with their loved one in hospital.
Carers passports – several of our hospitals offer a carers passport scheme. This will give you a variety of benefits such as parking discounts and refreshments. Please ask a member of hospital staff for more details.
Patient, Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
All hospitals have a patient, advice and liaison service. They offer a free, accessible and confidential service for patients, relatives and carers to help you when you need advice, have concerns, or don’t know where to go.
Carer Information Service
Our friendly team of volunteers visit the wards and outpatient departments to provide patients and carers with information and referral to Carer Services.
All the Inpatient Hospitals in our area offer a Carers Café. All are welcome to join us for a cup of tea and a chat.
There are Volunteers available to offer any information or support which will help you in your caring role.
Coming out of hospital
Whether the person you are caring for has a pre-planned hospital admission or whether it’s an emergency, understanding the implications for you when they are discharged is essential. You need to be able to make choices about whether you are willing and able to take on the role of carer if the situation is new or if you can continue caring if the condition of the person you care for has changed or deteriorated.
Before the person you are caring for leaves hospital they should have a discharge assessment. This assessment should take into account whether you feel able to cope with your caring role. It will also identify if they need any support once they are discharged. This could take the form of:
- Any intermediate or reablement care
- NHS continuing healthcare or NHS funded nursing care
- Once they are home, other NHS services and/or community care services from the local authority
You may also want to contact us about any support needs you might have once the person you are caring for returns home.
You can call our advice line on 0800 181 4118 Monday to Thursday 9.30am – 4.30pm, Friday 9.30am – 4.00pm.
Carer Support Wiltshire Hospital Liaison Service
We are currently in the process of setting up a new hospital liaison service, which we aim to have up and running in January 2022. For information, please give us a call on 0800 181 4118.
Other useful resources
The NHS have some useful guidance about going into hospital.
Carers UK have a detailed guide on the discharge process when someone is leaving hospital.