We want you to feel prepared when it is time for you to leave the hospital. Remember, we will only discharge you when all the necessary arrangements have been made for your needs.

Planning for going home

Your healthcare team will help you plan for going home. If you have any concerns about leaving hospital, please talk to your nurse or the nurse manager. They can arrange for other members of the Mater Hospital team, such as a social worker, to give you the help you need.

Your doctors and nurses may decide to continue your treatment in your own home. This can be with support from the local health service or other healthcare organisations. This could include nurse visits, physiotherapy, blood tests, dressings and antibiotic treatments for example.

Things to think about before leaving hospital

  • If you live alone, try to arrange for a relative or friend to check that your home is ready for your return.
  • Will you need food supplies at home? Can you ask a relative or friend to do some shopping for you?
  • Will you or your carer be able to manage when you return home?
  • Does your home need to be adapted in any way so that you will be able to manage?
  • Do you need help with personal care?
  • Will you need help to do your shopping, housework, meals or laundry?
  • Will you need meals on wheels?
  • Will you have housing problems when you leave hospital, or soon after you leave?
  • Do you need transport home?
  • If you have a home help service, do they know when you are coming home?

If you are concerned about any of these issues, talk to your nurse as soon as possible so that we can ensure that the necessary arrangements have been made before you go home. 

Being discharged

On the day you are discharged, we ask you to leave the ward by 11am. If you can’t go straight home then, the nursing staff will arrange for you to be taken to the Patient Transfer Unit. The Patient Transfer Unit is a ward designed for people who are waiting to be picked up on the day of their discharge. There is a seated waiting area and there are nursing staff on the unit. Tea/coffee and sandwiches are provided.  

We ask patients to move to the Patient Transfer Unit so that we can admit another patient to the bed as soon as possible. This is important for someone who is unwell, for example a person being admitted from the Emergency Department.


Leaving hospital checklist

Before you leave hospital, there are some things that you should do.

  • Tell your next of kin that you are being discharged from hospital.
  • Know what the arrangements are for your follow-up care. Follow-up care might include an appointment for an outpatient clinic, arrangements to see the local public health nurse or visits from a home help.
  • Understand how to look after yourself and manage when you get home.
  • Ask your doctor for any medical certificates you need.
  • Ask any questions you may have.
  • Return any hospital equipment that you no longer need.

There are also some things that you should make sure you have before you leave, including:

  • A copy of the letter to your GP
  • All the medications you need and information about them, including how to take them and where to store them
  • Contact numbers for the ward, in case you have any questions or concerns after you return home
  • Any money or valuables you have given to us for safekeeping