Working to get you home

Posted on Mon, 18/03/2019 by Rosie Hogan

In Gateshead, we want our patients to not only receive the best care while they are with us – but to also receive the best service when it comes to safely returning them to their home or a home care setting where they can continue their recovery or treatment.

A team of discharge coordinators work closely with patients, their families and external agencies to start planning for a patient’s transfer of care as soon as they are admitted to a ward. 

Rosie Hogan, works as a discharge co-ordinator on Ward 9. She tells us more about her role in a patient’s journey.  

“Planning for discharge starts as soon as a patient is admitted to the ward, which means that once a patient is medically fit, plans for their safe transfer of care are already in place.

“As soon as a patient is admitted, I give them a Transfer of Care leaflet and talk them through the discharge process, including the help and support available for them.

“I also speak to their families or carers and find out what support the patient might need to enable them to safely return home or to a care home setting if this is not possible.

“By starting the process early, it means that delays are less likely once the patient is medically fit for discharge.

“I find that patients can sometimes get anxious about returning home, not only because of ongoing health problems but also if they are going to have to have a change of routine or need additional support.

“But I think it reassures them to know that there is a plan in place from day one and I make sure they are updated throughout their stay, which makes them feel more involved in the process.

“I also liaise with the community teams and can reassure patients that support will be there for them once they get home.

“In some cases, a patient may only need a little short term support – such as help with their shopping. Others are much more complex and can involve a bit of detective work, as well as mediating in what can be difficult family situations.

“I really enjoy my job. I am busy all day and I meet a wide range of people and am constantly learning.

“It is also rewarding to think that you are helping to get people back home and to their families. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but at least I can help to try and ensure they are discharged with the best care and support possible.”

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