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Ask the expert: coming out of hospital

No matter how complex your emotions or your circumstances, the Carers UK Adviceline is here to give you the information we need.

Each month we take a question from the Carers UK Forum and get one of our advisers to provide an expert response. This month Jen from the Carers UK Adviceline guides you through the hospital discharge process and some of the rights carers have at work.

You asked:

My partner has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and his mobility has been getting steadily worse. He is undergoing radiotherapy and the hospital has arranged for him to be collected and brought home during the week. 

Recently he fell at home and had to call an ambulance so the paramedics could help get him up and take him to hospital. He fell again when he got home from his radiotherapy. 

Consequently the paramedics wanted him admitted to hospital as he was not safe to be left at home. He is now in hospital and I am worried they will discharge him back home, despite him not being safe on his own.

I work full time and cannot take time off indefinitely. 


Our Adviser says:

Trying to support your husband while also working full-time must be incredibly difficult for you.

You may feel under pressure to get your partner home as soon as possible, but it’s important to make sure your views have been taken into consideration and that your partner is not discharged before any required support has been put in place. Before your partner is discharged from hospital he should have a discharge assessment, which will look at whether he needs any support once he is discharged.

The discharge assessment should consider whether your partner is entitled to intermediate or reablement care, a short-term package of care to assist your partner to maintain or regain the ability to live independently at home. Before this support comes to an end, there should be another assessment to determine your partner’s ongoing needs for support.

If you partner is not entitled to any intermediate or reablement care then the hospital should give an assessment notice to your local authority so they can carry out a needs assessment.

There are national rules that the local authority have to follow when carrying out a needs assessment. If your partner’s needs meet these rules, he will have what is called ‘eligible needs’ and the local authority would examine whether these needs are already being met in some way, such as by yourself. So it’s really important to be honest about the level of care you are willing and able to provide. For example, you should make it clear that you work full time and cannot meet any of your partner’s needs during your working hours. Remember that it is completely your choice as to how much care to provide.

If any of your partner’s ‘eligible needs’ are not already being met (for example, because you are out at work during the day), then the local authority must meet these needs either by providing support themselves or by providing direct payments.

If the local authority do provide support they will carry out a financial assessment which would look at your partner’s income and capital, to work out whether he would need to contribute towards the cost.

Any support identified in the discharge assessment should be in place as soon as your partner is discharged back home. It’s also important you know about your rights in work as a carer

Remember that if you need to talk about what you’re going through with someone who understands, the Carers UK Adviceline offers a listening support service. The service is open on Monday and Tuesday, 9am to 7pm – call 0808 808 7777.

And if you want to share experiences and get support from other carers, the Carers UK Forum is here.

  • To get expert advice contact the Carers UK Adviceline on 0808 808 7777 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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