Kent Connect to Support
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Leaving hospital

Going home

You may already have care at home before going into hospital. If you are in hospital for a short period of time and need the same amount of support once you return home it may be possible to reinstate this. Hospital staff or community social care staff can support you with this.

You may need some short-term support at home to help you regain your confidence. The ward or social care staff will speak to you about this (see the section on short term support).

You may need longer term support at home and a member of the social care team will come and talk to you about this and help you plan what you need and how to organise this. 

Hospital staff may also support with arranging equipment to help you live independently at home, organising your medication, transport home, talking to your family about discharge plans and refer to a GP or community health team that may visit you once you are at home.

If you feel that you need support, the most important thing to do is talk to staff about what support you may need and what you would like to happen next.

The NHS website has guidance on what should happen when you're released from hospital and information about ongoing medical care.

Find out about equipment and adapting your home

Short term support

Short term placements are now called Discharge to Assess (D2A) (previously known as step down beds).  They are free for up to 4 weeks. Once you are in the placement you will be assessed by a D2A social worker who will discuss your long term needs.


Hospital staff may talk to you about moving to a rehabilitation unit. This is when they feel you are well enough to leave, and may benefit from some ongoing support from professionals in a health setting. Social care staff may work with people in rehabilitation units to support discharge planning.

Residential nursing care

If it is felt that you would benefit from moving into residential or nursing care, hospital staff and social care staff will discuss this with you and your family and support you with this.

Support from discharge

In order to provide you with a safe and swift discharge from hospital, your healthcare team may refer you to the hospital social worker team. The hospital social worker team will complete an assessment based on your needs. The team will then provide you with information, advice and support on the best actions to meet your needs.

If you feel that you require support when leaving hospital, you can also request an assessment. You can do this by making a request to your healthcare team who will make a referral on your behalf.

If you are expecting to find your daily routines difficult at the early stages of your recovery then considering things like what equipment you are able to buy could be the way to make your recovery easier when you return home.

Helping your recovery

There is a range of support available to help with your recovery and help you get back to living your life.

If you have additional care and support needs following your stay in hospital, then the Active Recovery team will assess your needs.

They will then organise a care and support package for you prior to you returning home in order ensure you can recover safely.

Last updated: 24/02/2023