Information for when you are going into or coming out of hospital.
If you're going into hospital there are some things you may need to think about to prepare for your stay and your return home.
If you currently receive care and support services from your council, please contact us to let us know so we can suspend your services until you return home. If you later find out your hospital stay has been postponed after telling us about it, please let us know.
Welfare benefits while in hospital
If you are going to be in hospital and receive certain benefits you will need to let the Department for Work and Pensions know. Check on the GOV.UK website (opens in a new window) if this applies to you.
The Cinnamon Trust (opens in a new window) and some other pet care companies can arrange to foster, feed or walk pets while you are in hospital. Some of these can be found in our directory (opens in a new window).
To make sure your home is secure while you are in hospital, you should:
- ask somebody to check on your house from time to time to make sure it is secure - they can also remove any post and make sure it is not visible from outside
- cancel your newspaper or milk deliveries
- check your home insurance to see whether the terms change if the house is unoccupied for a certain period of time
The Alzheimer's Society (opens in a new window) has information on hospital stays if you or the person you care for has dementia.
Home First brings together staff from Dorset's acute hospitals (in Bournemouth, Dorchester and Poole), community teams from Dorset HealthCare, and social care services from both BCP Council and Dorset Council. Together, they form a virtual 'One Dorset Team'.
Referrals from the acute hospitals are co-ordinated to ensure patients are assessed promptly and are provided with appropriate support once they have returned home (or to another care setting).
Short term support
Reablement is a short period of intensive support in your home. We will work with you to help you regain old skills, or develop new ones. In most cases, this is all you need to regain your independence and be able to carry on living in your own home.
Long term support
You might need long term support to help you to stay in your own home. This can include adaptations to your home or having someone to come and help you.
We have more information about:
Our top ten things to think about will help you to plan your future care, even if you don't need support at the moment.
The NHS does not generally provide transport for non-emergency visits to hospital. However, if your condition or disability makes using public transport or getting in and out of a car difficult, you may be eligible for free patient transport.
Call the Dorset Patient Transport Bureau on 01278 727457. For more information visit the Dorset Patient Transport Bureau website (opens in a new window).
If you are not eligible there are community transport schemes that may be able to help.
There is also the NHS Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) (opens in a new window). If you're referred to hospital or other NHS premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by a doctor, dentist or another primary care health professional, you may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
If you go into hospital
If you're a carer and will be going into hospital you may not be able to provide your usual care. We may be able to help arrange respite care for the person you care for.
If you're getting services from your council as a carer, you should contact us. If you are not receiving services from your council, contact us and we may be able to help. If you later find out your hospital stay has been postponed after telling us about it, please let us know.
Carers in Crisis provides a back-up plan which helps the person you care for in an emergency, if you are suddenly unable to provide your usual support. An emergency, or crisis, could be anything which delays you getting to the person you care for, or a more serious issue like sudden illness or an accident. You can join the scheme if you are registered as a carer with your council.
If the person you care for goes into hospital
Let hospital staff know as soon as possible that you are a carer. This is so they can include you when the person you care for is assessed.
When the person you care for is discharged from hospital, the hospital should include you and your needs when assessing them (if the person you care for agrees to this).
Carers UK (opens in a new window) has more information about how to prepare for someone coming out of hospital and what to expect.
Turn2us (opens in a new window) have information about benefits if you or the person you care for go into hospital.
Carers UK (opens in a new window) has information and advice about work, including getting time off in an emergency, flexible working and your rights at work.
The Alzheimer's Society (opens in a new window) has information on preparing for a hospital stay when the person you care for has dementia.