We know how important it is for people to be back home with family, friends and neighbours at Christmas – and over the next few days, we will doing everything we can to make this happen for as many patients as possible.

It’s a real team effort with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and lots of others working together to make sure everyone who is well enough can leave hospital and be home for Christmas.

And you can help too!

If you have a family member, a friend or a neighbour in hospital, there are things you can do to support their discharge, including:

  • Staying in contact with the ward they are on so everyone is clear on the expected date of discharge
  • Supporting with any necessary arrangements to provide suitable clothing and shoes for the patient and understanding their ongoing medication needs
  • Helping with their transport home. If you can help take a relative, friend or neighbour home when they are ready to leave hospital it helps them get home sooner. Whilst there is NHS funded transport for some patients, is it really there to be used only for those who cannot use usual transport due to a medical condition or who are going on to another NHS or social care service.
  • And little things like popping some milk and food in their fridge, turning on the heating in their home and checking for trip/fall hazards like trailing cables and rugs can make all the difference, too.

All these things can help patients leaving hospital get back in their own homes more smoothly and in time to celebrate Christmas – and being in comfortable surroundings with family and friends, rather than on a busy hospital ward, can help people to recover more quickly.