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Going home

Information for patients and carers about what patients need to consider when going home after hospital care.

If you have any difficulty with transport, follow-up treatment, or help at home, please ask the nurse managing your care or ask to see a social worker.

Before you leave, staff will return the following medications to you:

  • Correctly labelled items that you are to continue taking
  • Non-prescription items you have purchased

The following items will not usually be returned:

  • Medicines you don’t need to take any more
  • Out-of-date medicines
  • Medicines with unreadable or missing labels

Staff may also give you information about any new medicines you will be taking. To find out more information about your medicines, see HealthInfo.

You may need a follow-up appointment in an outpatient clinic, at the Physiotherapy Department or other specialist clinics. The clinic or department will send you a card with your appointment date and time.

Your General Practice (GP) team is your central point of contact for all your health needs, including if there are any changes in your condition. Your GP team can contact hospital departments and specialists if something happens that affects your treatment.

A member of your health care team will refer you to another hospital specialist or other health professional for assessment and treatment if needed.

Referrals are also possible if patients or their family/whānau ask for a second opinion, or treatment to be provided by another health professional.

  • We usually aim to discharge patients around 11am
  • So we can discharge you at the right time and admit new patients, staff may ask you to wait in the Day Room until all paperwork and tests have been completed
  • Staff will make sure you are comfortable until ready to leave with your family or friend
  • Staff will give you discharge information, including a copy of the letter sent to your own doctor explaining your condition, treatment, changes to your medicines, follow-up required and details of any help arranged for you at home
  • Ask if you need a medical certificate for your employer
  • You may also be given a prescription for medicine. In most cases, your prescription will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice. You can then phone your pharmacy to arrange collection once your medicines are prepared or have them delivered (if available).
  • Make sure you know of any changes to your medicines:
    • What is the medicine called?
    • What is it for?
    • When and how do you take it?
  • To find out more information about your medicines, see HealthInfo
  • Staff will tell you your likely discharge time so you can contact family or friends for your transport arrangements
  • Once you are home, we suggest you contact your usual doctor if you need medical services
  • We will send a written report with detailed information to your doctor as soon as possible after you go home

If you came to hospital with an injury, staff may have filed an ACC claim for you. However Canterbury DHB does not manage ACC claims, and after you go home you should contact ACC for any information about your claim.

If you have serious problems with your injury including severe bleeding, heart issues, or complications with a head injury, call 111 or go to your nearest Emergency Department (ED).

If you are in pain or have other issues to do with your injury, talk to your usual General Practice (GP) team – even if your injury was first treated at ED or a Canterbury DHB facility.

Your General Practice (GP) team are the central point of contact for all your healthcare needs, including for ongoing care or if anything changes with your health after you leave hospital.

Page last updated: 30 April 2020

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