Discharge from LMH

Discharge Planning is an important part of any hospital admission. It plays an important role in ensuring a smooth move from hospital to home. This is achieved by making sure that appropriate clinical and community-based supports are in place if required.

Hospital Discharge time is usually before 11.00 am. Planning to leave the hospital before 11.00 am enables you to return home in a timely fashion and enables the bed to be prepared for the next person.

Patients should arrange their own transport from hospital, regardless of how they arrived. Whenever possible, please have your transport arrangements made the day prior to your discharge to avoid unnecessary inconvenience, as you may have to wait in the patient discharge lounge if your bed is required for another patient.

It is vital that any special needs following discharge are identified early so that plans can be made. We encourage patients to discuss any issues with your health care team. Sometimes, these issues are present for people who:

  • live alone
  • are responsible for another person (e.g. frail partner, young children)
  • used community services prior to admission to hospital (e.g. Meals on Wheels, Community Nurses/Midwives).

There are several people who can help plan your discharge:

  • you and your family or carers can alert us if you feel you need additional support when you leave hospital
  • your treating Doctors, Nurses/Midwives and Allied Health staff can help identify services you may require
  • the multidisciplinary team can coordinate discharge and provide assessments and arrange any services needed to support you at home immediately after discharge.

When it is time for you to be discharged from the hospital, the hospital has a number of options available to support you when you leave, particularly if you require ongoing care. Services may include:

  • Hospital at Home
  • Metro Home Link
  • Royal District Nursing Service.

There may also be specific rehabilitation and other packages available. All options will be discussed with you prior to your discharge and we encourage you to speak to your nurse/midwife, doctor and allied health staff about the best option for you.

Prior to discharge, please ensure you have received prescriptions for medications and information about follow up appointments.

Patients and/or carers need to make sure they clearly understand all discharge instructions.

Your discharge planning checklist

These are the major factors to be considered in discharge planning. It is important for you to discuss the following with the hospital staff during your stay in hospital:

These are the major factors to be considered in discharge planning. It is important for you to discuss the following with the hospital staff during your stay in hospital:

  • Your expected date of discharge – this will help you plan your return home.
  • Inform the hospital of your living arrangements. For example, do you live alone, is there someone who can assist you when you go home, what services you currently receive, are you the carer for someone in your home?
  • Expectations regarding your recovery. For example, how long it will take to recover.?
  • Are there any possible restrictions on your activities e.g. lifting, driving a car?
  • Your ability to cope at home either with or without a carer needs to be considered carefully. For example, do you need to go to a residential aged care facility, or will you require community support services such as assistance with medication or cleaning?
  • Any equipment requirements to assist in your recovery and independence.

Criteria led discharge

Criteria Led Discharge is when your doctor says that you are well enough to go home without seeing the doctor on the day you leave hospital. On admission to the ward you will be given an Estimated Date of Discharge (EDD), and this will usually be confirmed on the day before discharge, when the treating staff decide that you are well enough to go home. This decision will be made with you and other health care professionals. Informing you of the discharge date in advance should allow you time to discuss any concerns you may have.

The doctors will establish a set of criteria that you have to meet in order to be able to go home. The nurse looking after you will make sure that you meet these criteria. If required, you will be sent home with medications, equipment and an outpatient appointment. If your condition changes or you don’t meet the criteria, then you will be reviewed by a doctor.

Once your discharge date has been set, it is important to organise your transport home. Please speak to the nursing staff if you require assistance with this. Our discharge time is before 11 am every day and if your transport is not available at that time you will be asked to sit in the discharge lounge until your transport is ready.

If you experience any of the following after discharge, please go to your GP or to your local emergency department if after hours:

  • Any return of the severe symptoms that brought you to hospital
  • Fever
  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Nausea and/ or vomiting
  • Sudden shortness of breath