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Going Home Support

Date issued: November 2022

Review date: November 2024

Ref: C-510/MD/Corporate/Going Home leaflet

PDF:  Going home leaflet final November 2022.pdf [pdf] 388KB

Welcome to your Going Home Leaflet

We hope your hospital experience has been a pleasant and comfortable one. Our staff aim is to ensure all patients feel safe, respected, and informed whilst in our care.This leaflet has been developed to help support your discharge whilst you recuperate at home.

We want to make sure you had the best possible care whilst an inpatient with us, it is important you tell us how we performed during your inpatient stay.The Friends and Family Test is a questionnaire that you might have already completed whilst on the ward prior to being discharged. If you have already completed the Friends and Family Test, thank you, if you have not completed the question but would like to leave feedback, please follow the link below or scan the QR code. Alternatively, if you would like a paper copy of the questionnaire sent to your home address please telephone the Patient Services department, 01752 439884, and ask for a paper version to be sent out.

Friends and Family Test questionnaire link: https://bit.ly/3SHwA8i

About discharge

Once you are well enough, you will be discharged from hospital. This simply means that the doctors and nurses looking after you, feel you no longer need to stay in hospital and will be able to cope at home.

Many hospital discharges are straight forward and require little or no change to the patient’s lifestyle, home environment and care needs. However, some patients may go through significant changes after an accident or period of illness and may require additional help once they leave hospital.

The Discharge Lounge

The Discharge Lounge is located on Level 3 in the Terence Lewis Building. It is staffed throughout the day with nurses, carers and volunteers to look after you during the last few hours of your stay in hospital. The Discharge Lounge also provides a nice environment for you to wait for medications, family, a taxi or (if appropriate) hospital transport.There is parking available just outside the entrance on Level 3 specifically for the Discharge Lounge to allow family or friends to pick you up.

What happens next?

You may receive a phone call in the next few days from a member of the Wellbeing Team, which is made up of specially trained hospital volunteers. This call is to ensure that your recovery is on track and to see that you are ok.The Wellbeing Team can help you get advice that may aid your recovery.Please note that the volunteers are not medical and cannot answer any medical questions.

Please note this phone call will be from the Wellbeing Team on 01752 202082

Contact your GP first

You can also get lots of advice from the NHS website www.nhs.uk or if you do not have access to the internet then further help can be found in the general section of this leaflet.

Your Medicines

Your medicines will be delivered to you whilst you are in the Discharge Lounge.If this does not happen, please speak to a member of staff as the late arrival of your medicine may delay your discharge.

Your medications will be discussed with you, and we will explain how they should be taken, as well as any common side effects that you should watch out for.

You should make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible after leaving hospital to obtain a further supply of any prescribed medications (if needed). Your GP will also update your medical notes and ensure that your medications are reviewed. If you need additional information about your medications, you can contact your local pharmacist for a medicines check-up and review.

Am I at risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) / Pulmonary Embolism (PE)?

DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg, leading to partial or complete blockage of a vein. If the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs it can block important lung arteries, causing a PE.

Your risk of developing DVT increases:

  • If your leg is immobilised by a cast

  • If you have had surgery or a fracture, particularly to your hip or leg

  • With age (if you are over 60 years old)

  • If you have a medical illness, such as heart or chest disease, cancer or are undergoing cancer treatments

  • In pregnancy or if you have recently given birth

  • If you are immobile

  • With hormone treatment, including the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

  • If you have a personal or family history of DVT or PE

  • With dehydration

  • If you are overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30kg/m2.

Common signs of DVT or PE include:

  • Hotness

  • Pain

  • Tenderness and swelling (often in the calf)

  • Breathlessness

  • Chest pain

  • Collapse

You should seek medical advice immediately if you develop symptoms of DVT or PE, prompt treatment can save lives.

How can I reduce my risk?

You can reduce your risk of developing DVT or PE by:

  • Drinking plenty of water and staying well-hydrated

  • Being as mobile as possible and exercising your legs

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight.

Some patients are advised to continue wearing anti-thrombosis stockings or given treatment until they have returned to their normal level of mobility. If you have been given treatment to continue at home, it is important to complete the full course. Remove stockings if they cause discomfort or skin damage and tell your GP.

Patient reminder checklist

  • Be aware of signs of health deterioration and how to manage them. Ask your nurse before you leave hospital if you are unsure.

  • If you are admitted regularly to hospital for the same health issue, please ensure you are referred to a specialist service to help you self-manage your condition.

  • Make an appointment with your GP to review your discharge letter and medications list (if needed).

  • Contact your local pharmacist if you need more advice regarding your medications.

  • Ensure you have made a note in your calendar of any follow-up appointments or investigations booked for you

  • If you have not heard back from the hospital regarding future appointments, contact the relevant department to ensure this is corrected as soon as possible.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

PALS can offer you on-the-spot advice and information when you have queries or concerns regardingUniversity Hospitals Plymouth services or the care you or your loved one have received. They will listen to your concerns and help you find ways of resolving them. You can also pass on a compliment or praise to staff members or teams.

Phone: 01752 439884

Email:  www.plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/pals

Website: plh-tr.PALS@nhs.net

The Advocacy People

The Advocacy People can help and advice when decisions are being made for and about a person who lacks capacity to make their own decisions, a person is deprived of their liberty, a persons’ needs are being assessed and their care planned. If you need help to understand your care, please get in touch.

Phone: 0330 4409000

Email: info@theadvocacypeople.org.uk

Website: www.theadvocacypeople.org.uk

LiveWell Southwest

LiveWell Southwest support people to lead independent, healthy lives in the community, in which they live. Livewell Southwests main base is at the Local Care Centre, Mount Gould, Plymouth. However, their services also function out of a range of sites within Plymouth, South Hams, and West Devon.

Phone: 01752 435502

Email: customerservicespch@nhs.net

Website: www.livewellsouthwest.co.uk

Improving Lives Plymouth

Improving Lives Plymouth run information, advice, and support services for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions and their carers.

Phone: 01752 201766

Email: ilp@improvinglivesplymouth.org.uk

Website: www.improvinglivesplymouth.org.uk

Community Connections Plymouth (Plymouth CC)

Community Connections Plymouth can introduce people to the services that can help.

Phone: 01752 398500

Email: communityconnections@plymouth.gov.uk

Website: www.plymouth.gov.uk/communitiesandneighbourhoods/communityconnections/

Alcoholics Anonymous Plymouth

The home of Alcoholics Anonymous in Plymouth and surrounding area. Plymouth Intergroup is the support organisation for AA groups throughout the Plymouth area.They can offer information and help for all those who believe or suspect they have a problem with alcohol.

Phone: 01752 791111

Email: health.plymouth@aamail.org

Website: www.plymouthaa.org.uk

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross can help when returning home from hospital, they can make sure you have everything you need for your first 24 to 72 hours back at home.They may then provide up to 12 weeks of support depending on the level of help needed.

Phone: General Enquiries: 0344 871 1111

Support: 0808 196 3651

Email: contactus@redcross.org.uk

Website: www.redcross.org.uk

Armed Forces and Veterans

Defence Medical Welfare Service

Defence Medical Welfare Service are an independent charity providing medical welfare to the armed forces, veterans, NHS staff, emergency services, The Merchant Navy, and their immediate family.

Phone: Rachel 07785 614831 or Matt 07795 677351

Email: rhembury@dmws.org.ukor mjackson@dmws.org.uk

Website: www.dmws.org.uk

SSAFA can provide support to Armed Forces and Veterans and their families.

Phone: 0204 566 9131 or 0800 260 6767

Email: southwest.region@ssafa.org.uk

Website: www.ssafa.org.uk/plymouth

Royal British Legion

Royal British Legion can provide lifelong support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.

Phone: 0808 8028080

Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk

Bones and Limbs

Limbless Association

Limbless Association can provide useful, easy to access information and advice as well as supporting and connecting amputees, their families, and carers.

Phone: 0800 644 0185

Website: www.limbless-association.org

Bone Cancer Research Trust

Bone Cancer Research Trust are the leading charity dedicated to fighting primary bone cancer and are uniquely placed to make a difference through research, information, awareness and support.

Phone: 0113 258 5934

Website: www.bcrt.org.uk

Positive Bones

Positive Bones aim is to empower amputees & people with limb differences to live a life without limits

Email: info@positivebones.co.uk

Website: www.positivebones.co.uk

The Primrose Foundation

The Primrose Breast Care Centre is a state of art centre providing exemplary care and support for all.

Phone: 01752 432066

Website: www.primrosefoundation.org

The Chestnut Appeal

The Chestnut Appeal can provide support for Prostate, Testicular and Penile cancer patients.

Phone: 01752 792736

Email: chestnut.appeal@nhs.net 

Website: www.chestnutappeal.org.uk

Mustard Tree Support Centre

The Mustard Tree Macmillan Cancer Support Centre is available to anyone affected by cancer (at any stage of the illness). They offer a cosy and comfortable environment for patients, relatives, and carers to share concerns, ask questions and access a range of support.

Phone: 01752 430060

Email: plh-tr.mtrefferals@nhs.net

Website: www.plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/mustard-tree

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK can offer advice and support for anyone affected by cancer.

Phone: 0300 123 1022

Email: supporter.services@cancer.org.uk

Website: www.cancerresearchuk.org

Macmillan Cancer support

Macmillan Cancer support are there to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can. Whether you need help paying bills, advice on benefits or treatment, or just want to chat, find out about the different ways they can help.

Phone: 0808 8080000

Email: contact@macmillan.org.uk

Website: www.macmillan.org.uk

Diabetes UK: South West Region

Diabetes UK: South West Region can offer advice and support for anyone affected by Diabetes.

Phone: 01823 448260

Email: south.west@diabetes.org.uk

Website: www.diabetes.org.uk/in_your_area/south_west

Emotional and Mental Health

LiveWell South West

LiveWell South West support people to lead independent, healthy lives in the community, in which they live.Plymouth Options are part of the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) program and offer brief evidenced based psychological therapies for people experiencing common mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and depression.

Phone: 01752 435419

Email: customerservicespch@nhs.net

Website: www.livewellsouthwest.co.uk/plymouth-options


DevonMIND can provide support for you no matter what your mental health problems may be, there is always a way that they can support you.

Phone: 01752 512280

Email: hello@devonmind.com

Website: www.devonmind.com

Jeremiah's Journey

Jeremiah's Journey can help children and their families from Plymouth and the immediate surrounding area with support when they have experienced or are anticipating the death of someone special.

Phone: 01752 424348

Website: www.jeremiahsjourney.org.uk

The Samaritans

The Samaritans are there, day or night, for anyone who is struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.

Phone: 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Website: www.samaritans.org

Royal Voluntary Service (RVS)

RVS are there to help people keep leading independent, healthy, and happy lives, by offering a helping hand where it is needed. Their volunteers offer practical support by taking care of the things the people they serve are less able to do for themselves, like shopping or getting to and from social activities.

Phone: 01209 705159

Email: cornwalldevonhub@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

Website: www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk


Shout is the UK's first and only free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.

Text: 85258

Food and Welfare

Plymouth Community Meals

Plymouth Community Meals are a friendly award-winning delivery service, there aim is to support you in maintaining your independence in your own home with their great nutritious lunchtime meals.

Phone: 01752 305140 or 01752 305162

Website: www.plymouth.gov.uk/adultsandchildrenssocialcare/helpyourownhome/plymouthcommunitymeals

Plymouth Food Bank

If you call or email the Plymouth foodbank they can talk through your situation and put you in touch with a relevant local agency.

Phone: 01752 254981

Email: info@plymouth.foodbank.org.uk 

Website: https://plymouth.foodbank.org.uk/

Plymouth PIE Club

Plymouth PIE Club offers a wraparound service to the most vulnerable in the city. These services include hot, nutritious meals delivered to your home by one of their volunteers. Weekly befriending calls to those who are alone and isolated. Prescription collection and shopping.

Phone: 01752 254981

Email: plymouthpieclub@gmail.com

Heart and Circulation

British Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation can help if you or someone you know has been diagnosed or is living with a heart or circulatory condition which can be overwhelming. So can finding out you're/they at risk of developing a condition, but they are here to help.

Phone: 0300 330 3322

Email: heretohelp@bhf.org.uk

Website: www.bhf.org.uk

Heart Research UK

Heart Research UK can provide practical help for those living with heart conditions.

Phone: 0113 2347474

Email: info@heartresearch.org.uk

Website: www.heartresearch.org.uk

The Circulation Foundation

The Circulation Foundation can provide help and advice for those living with a vascular or circulation condition.

Phone: 020 7205 7151

Email: info@circulationfoundation.org.uk

Website: www.circulationfoundation.org.uk

Kidney, Liver and Pancreas

Kidney Patient's Association and Friends of Derriford Hospital Kidney Unit

The local branch of a national kidney charity actually run by kidney patients for kidney patients. The NKF has two main roles, campaigning for improvements to renal provision and treatment, and national patient support services.

Phone: 0800 169 0936 or 07307 170787

Email: charleen.ann@blueyonder.co.uk

Website: www.kidney.org.uk or for local branch www.fodhkukpa.org

British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust helping with liver health through increased awareness, prevention, improved care and support.

Phone: 0800 652 7330

General Enquiries: 01425 481320

Email: info@britishlivertrust.org.uk

Website: www.britishlivertrust.org.uk

Pancreatic Cancer UK

Pancreatic Cancer UK are there to help people affected by pancreatic cancer make sense of their diagnosis and guide and support them every step of the way.

Phone: 020 3535 7090

Email: enquiries@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

Website: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk

Lungs and Asthma

Asthma and Lung UK

Asthma and Lung UK are dedicated to helping create a world where good lung health and the ability to breathe freely are a basic right enjoyed by all.

Phone: 0300 222 5800

Email: supportgroups@asthmaandlung.org.uk

Website: www.asthmaandlung.org.uk

Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis support patients and families and raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis.

Phone: 01733 475642

Email: info@actionpf.org

Website: www.actionpf.org

Older People and Dementia

Age UK Plymouth

Age UK Plymouth exists to care for and work with older people and their carers in and around the Plymouth area to improve their quality of life through the promotion of choice, opportunity, and independence.

Phone: 01752 256020

Email: email@ageukplymouth.org.uk

Website: www.ageuk.org.uk/plymouth

Elder Tree in Plymouth

Elder Tree Befriending has developed a unique and innovative partnership with Plymouth City Council, Livewell Southwest and Primary Care and provides a cutting-edge befriending service for vulnerable and socially isolated people over the age of 50.

Phone: 01752 227447

Email: admin@eldertreebefriending.co.uk

Website: https://eldertreeplymouth.co.uk/

The Silver Line

While The Silver Line’s services have evolved over the years, their mission has remained the same to support, connect with, and uplift older people.

Phone: 0800 4708090 - 24-hour service

Email: info@thesilverline.org.uk

Website: https://thesilverline.org.uk

Alzheimer's Society

Alzheimer's Society are a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for everyone affected by dementia.

Phone: 0333 1503456

Email: enquiries@alzheimers.org.uk

Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk/

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