Cairns Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Planning your discharge from hospital

The following information will assist you to plan for your discharge from hospital. It is important that you and your family or carer are involved in this process as you will be more able to identify any problems that you may face at home during your recovery period. The time that patients spend in hospital is getting less and less, as it has been shown that the best place to recover is in your own home surroundings. Shorter hospital stays however, mean that some patients go home before they are fully independent with their cares, so planning for discharge allows you to think of ways of ensuring all of your needs are met.

You should be planning for discharge from hospital even before you are admitted, as there are often things that need to be put into place before you come to hospital. If you need advice before admission, Cairns Private Hospital offers a Pre-admission Clinic where you can obtain information from a nurse experienced in assisting patients to identify what type of help they may require after discharge. During your hospital stay you can also ask to see the Case Manager who can assist you to organise Community Health & Support services if you need them.

If you feel you may require Community Support Services once you return home it is important to find out the cost of these services and whether there is any funding available to cover this. Some private health funds will pay for this type of care and you should enquire what your fund is able to provide for you. Other services are government funded and often restricted to people who meet set eligibility criteria. Some services can also have a waiting list or not available in your area. Your local doctor may be able to help you arrange services if you need assistance or you can obtain advice from the Case Manager at Cairns Private Hospital by calling 40 525287 (Mon-Fri).

The following is a ‘Check List’ that may assist you to consider what arrangements you will need to put in place to ensure a safe recovery when you return home from hospital.

  • Will you be going to your own home from hospital or will you stay will family or friends?

  • How will you get home? You may need to arrange for someone to collect you from hospital, as the Queensland Ambulance Service will only transport you if your doctor feels there is a medical need for this. Ask your doctor how long you will be in hospital so you have an idea of what you need to arrange. Discharge time at Cairns Private is usually between 0900-1000am.

  • Do you have someone to help you when you go home? Ask your doctor or the Pre-admission Clinic staff what assistance you may need when you go home. Talk to your family/carer about the type of help you may need and how long you will need assistance for.

  • Do you normally look after someone else? You will need to make some arrangements for their care if this is the case. Consider how long it will be until you can resume your carer’s role. This may be longer than just the time you are in hospital.

  • Bring all of the medicines that you normally take to hospital with you so these can be continued. If you attend Pre-admission clinic bring a list of your medicines and when you take them.

  • You may need equipment such as crutches, walking frame, toilet raiser, and shower chair to use at home until you are fully independent. These items can be hired from some local pharmacies or you can use Phoenix Pharmacy located in Lake St opposite Cairns Private. A deposit for these items is normally required and going home can be simpler if you have arranged for this before you come in to hospital.

  • What is the access to your home like? If you have steps or stairs you may need to see the physio for some advice on managing these while you are in hospital. What is the access to your bath/shower like? Will it be difficult for you to manage this when you come home from hospital? You may consider installation of rails or a hand-held shower if this would make it easier for you.

  • Will shopping and cooking be a problem when you come home? You may consider preparing some easily re-heated meals and freezing them before you come to hospital or if you need Meals on Wheels arranged ask the nurse when you are admitted.

  • Will your home be safe for you to move around in when you come home? If you will have limited mobility or be using a walking aid think about putting away slip mats and moving furniture to make access easier. A non-slip mat in the bath/shower may also be worth considering.

We look forward to caring for you during your hospital stay and assisting you towards a safe and speedy recovery. If you need further advice about your care while you are with us or you have concerns about your discharge home please contact the Case Manager, Cairns Private Hospital Ph: 40 525287 (Mon-Fri).