Seven things people can do to help get loved ones home from hospital

We’re asking for your help for those that don’t need to be in hospital – support your loved one to come home from hospital.

People currently in hospital across Derby and Derbyshire, but well enough to leave, need the help and support of their families to get home.

That is the message coming from the region’s acute hospitals, where many patients’ discharges are often delayed due to them not having any way of getting home, or their current living environment not being ready for their return.

Families can help avoid these unnecessary delays in a number of ways, for example; by being available for lifts home, collecting their family member’s prescription, ensuring their home is heated and stocked with staple food items.

Simple steps such as this will support the region’s hospitals – University Hospitals of Derby and Burton and Chesterfield Royal Hospital – to open up valuable bed space for new patients, many of whom will be in need of urgent or emergency care.

Dr Chris Weiner, Chief Medical Officer, NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board, said:

“We know that hospital is not always the best place for people, and we want to get people back to their own homes as quickly as possible, because homely surroundings and personal comforts aid recovery.

“Any delay to discharging a patient means we are not able to give a bed to our sickest and most vulnerable patients who are waiting to be seen.

“We positively encourage families, friends and carers to be involved in early discussions around the patient’s recovery, and any ongoing care needs, so that arrangements can be made at the earliest opportunity.

“If you have a loved one in hospital who is well enough to leave, but is waiting to be discharged, please talk to ward staff. Opening up that conversation really is the most important thing people can do to support their loved one.”

Families can support loved ones who are ready to leave hospital by doing seven simple things:

  • Ask ward staff how they can help
  • Bring clothes for leaving hospital
  • Ensure their loved one has any dressings or equipment they need
  • Confirm any follow up appointments or care support information
  • Check for valuables and belongings when leaving
  • Arrange access to their home or place they call home and to check on heating and food
  • Confirm transport arrangements

Following the Christmas bank holiday period, demand on local NHS services, especially those which provide urgent and emergency care, remains very high. Supporting patient discharges is just one way in which the public can help support their local NHS at this busy time.

Other practical steps include choosing the correct and appropriate healthcare service when seeking medical help, especially for minor injuries and illness, as attending hospital or calling 999 for anything other than when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk can prevent others in life-threatening situations from being seen.

NHS 111 online – – provides quick and effective healthcare advice for everyday health conditions at the touch of a button, and can be accessed easily via any laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Pharmacists can also offer advice on a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. Most sites also have a private consultation room in which pharmacists can carry out an assessment, offer a diagnosis and suggest possible treatment options.

For more information, please see