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Leaving Hospital

If you are in hospital

If you, a friend or relative are in hospital you may want to know what will happen once you, or they, are ready to leave hospital. 

Speak to the care staff about your care needs upon discharge. Include relatives and friends in the conversation where possible - can they offer support?  What extra help might you need at home?

Carer in hospital

If you are a carer and have had to come to hospital, but are worried about the person you care for being left at home, please speak to hospital staff and they will contact the relevant social care team to let them know and provide support.

Support in the emergency department

Once assessed and treated you may not need to be admitted to hospital but may need some extra support with care, equipment etc.  During the day, between 8am and 8pm, there is a team of health and social care professionals called the Rapid Assessment Team. They can talk with you and, if you need urgent help, will arrange this for you.

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. Please 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. Please see section on care and support at home for more information.

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.

Age UK York provides After Hospital Support for older people in York when they leave hospital. They can provide this support for up to six weeks.

You may need to think about a safe return home and want to consider a falls prevention visit from the City of York Council Falls Prevention Scheme or need a handyperson service.  You can also contact the handyperson service to arrange for a community group, GoodGym, to move your bed downstairs if this is required for you to return home safely while you recuperate. This may be a time to consider what aids and adaptations can take place in the home or whether a Technology Enabled Care service would be useful. The You and Your Home pages can help to consider what you need.

If you feel 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.

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. There is no choice where you will go in the D2A beds from hospital, but once you are in the placement you will be assessed by a D2A social worker who will discuss your long term needs and, where best, these needs will be met.


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. Please also see Residential Care section on this website.

Last updated: 14/11/2023