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.

Plan for going home

Our staff will help you plan for going home. If you have any concerns about leaving hospital, please talk to your nurse on your ward. The nurses can help to ensure that the necessary arrangements have been made before you go home. 

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 visits from nurses, physiotherapy, blood tests, dressings and antibiotic treatments.

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. A useful list is below for you to think about when planning to leave hospital:

  • Will you need food supplies at home? Can a relative or friend to do some food 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, please talk to your nurse as soon as possible so that we can ensure that the necessary arrangements have been made before you go home. 

Leaving the hospital

On the day you are discharged from hospital, we ask that you leave the ward by 11am. If you cannot go home at that time and are waiting to be collected, the nursing staff will arrange for you to be taken to the Patient Transfer Unit.

The Patient Transfer Unit is an area in our hospital for patients who are waiting to be collected on the day of their discharge from hospital. There is a seated waiting area and there are nursing staff working in the unit. Tea, coffee and sandwiches are provided for patients in the unit. Patients are moved to the Patient Transfer Unit so that we can make a bed available and admit another unwell patient as soon as possible, for example a person being admitted from the Emergency Department.

Helpful Checklists

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

  • Tell your next of kin that you are being discharged from hospital. Tell them the date and time.
  • Know what the arrangements are for your follow-up care. Your 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. Your nurse will tell you this information. 
  • Understand how to look after yourself when you get home.
  • Ask your doctor for any medical certificates that you need.
  • Ask any questions that you may have.
  • Return any hospital equipment that you no longer need.
  • Understand the medicines you will need to take when you get home. See our helpful video below which provides useful information on managing your medicines when you leave hospital.
  • Please refer to the HSE Guide to Medicines, a series of Patient Information Leaflets developed by health experts.

Some important things that you should make sure you have before you leave include:

  • 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. A copy of the HSE My Medicines List can be printed out and used to record all your medicines.
  • Contact numbers for the ward, in case you have any questions or concerns after you return home.
  • Any money or valuables you may have given to us for safekeeping.

Managing your medicines when you leave hospital

This video has been created by our Pharmacy Department and includes helpful information and tips on how to manage your medicines when you are discharged from hospital.