Going home from hospital

An exterior view of St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay at dusk.

Discharge information

Planning for discharge is important to ensure you return home after your hospital stay as soon as you are able and with all of the support you require. Be sure to talk it over with your doctor and family before and during your stay. Our discharge planning service is also here to help you. Here’s what you need to know:

Going home from day surgery

After the normal postoperative recovery period, you will return to the day surgery recovery area, where you are required to stay a minimum of 1.5-2 hours, depending on the type of anaesthetic you received.

You should not leave the hospital unaccompanied. Nursing staff will contact your nominated family member or friend to pick you up.

It is essential that in the first 24 hours after your surgery or procedure you do not:

  • Stay alone.
  • Drive a vehicle or bike (please organise someone to drive you home).
  • Drink alcohol.
  • Make any legal decisions.

Follow up guidelines, instructions, and prescriptions (if applicable) will be given to you prior to your discharge.

Going home from the ward

Discharge time is usually between 9am and 10am. We ask that you respect this time so that we are able to accommodate other patients awaiting surgery or treatment.

Before you leave, you will be provided with information relating to your medications, appointments and discharge instructions as appropriate. If your discharge care is complex the hospital discharge planning nurse will be involved in planning if necessary.

Discharge planning

You should plan ahead for your discharge as much as possible. If you live alone this should be discussed with your doctor before admission.

If you believe you will require assistance once you go home, do not hesitate to alert our nursing staff, who will arrange for our Discharge Planner to assist you.

They will work with you from admission to help make arrangements with community service providers who can help with support services. This can include hygiene or wound care, meals, medication blister packs and home help. Community service providers can provide specific details regarding services and any associated costs.

It is important that you and the nursing staff understand your discharge plan in relation to:

  • The date you are expected to be discharged
  • Your travel arrangements to leave the hospital
  • Any special instructions you will have during your recovery for example exercises and wound care
  • Your follow-up appointments

Discharge Planning Service

For complex discharge planning, St Stephen's Hospital offers a Discharge Planner service. Should you require complex assessments for ongoing care when you leave hospital, this discharge planner will coordinate the appropriate assessments (eg Aged Care Assessment Service, Transitional Care Team and others).

Following your discharge, your General Practitioner (GP) will continue to manage your discharge care. Should you have any additional needs once home, you should discuss these with your GP who will be able to organise them for you.

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