Ensuring your needs are met upon being discharged from hospital

  • If you have on-going needs when you are discharged from hospital it is essential that you are not discharged until appropriate arrangements have been made for you.
  • Once your medical team has determined that you are ready for discharge, a discharge assessment must take place to determine what (if any) needs you may have.
  • We can support you to ensure that discharge does not take place until a proper assessment of your needs has taken place and confirmation of how those needs will be met is provided.

Determining whether or not you have been discharged at an appropriate time

Due to the increasing pressures on the NHS we have seen an increase in the number of delayed discharges, and “bed blocking” is at an all-time high. If you have on-going needs, it is important that you are not discharged without proper consideration first being given to your long-term needs.

Where there is a waiting list for preferred residential placements, there is a chance you could be discharged elsewhere in the meantime, to a placement that could be some distance from your relatives.

The law is very clear that you should not be discharged from hospital unless:

  • You are medically fit for discharge.
  • An assessment has taken place to determine the level of support you may need to discharge you safely.
  • You have been given a written care plan which sets out the support you will receive to meet your assessed needs.
  • The support outlined in the care plan has been put in place.
  • There is a system for monitoring and, if necessary, adjusting the care plan to meet any change in needs.
  • An assessment has taken place to establish if you qualify for NHS continuing healthcare (an NHS-funded package of care at home or in a residential setting).

Ensuring that your individual health care needs are met

In complex cases, it can be beneficial to seek advice from an independent advocate who can support you during your assessment and care planning process. This can ensure you are not discharged from hospital until a proper assessment of your needs has taken place, and you have confirmation of how your needs will be met.

We can also make sure that appropriate consideration is given to how your care and support will be funded, which in some cases could include requesting an NHS continuing healthcare assessment on your behalf.

With our expert team based across our offices in London, Southampton, Woking, Lymington, Richmond and Guildford, we are ideally placed to offer specialist support and advice on a local and national level. Get in touch for more information on how we can help.


View our “Hospital discharge” factsheet.

Contact our solicitors

Get in touch with our legal experts for advice.