Speeding Up Hospital Discharge in West Lothian

Read our top-tips on how to support someone to return home from hospital quickly, safely, and to ensure that they remain at home.

As we get older, a hospital stay can be all too common. It’s a great sense of relief being discharged. But it’s important to have a sound discharge plan to ensure a safe return home to keep you or your loved one well and prevent any further hospital admissions.

Here are some of our top-tips on how to support someone to return home from hospital quickly, safely, and ensuring that they remain at home and do not require re-admission.

Short-term needs

The discharge team should work with family or friends to ensure the patient doesn’t go home to an empty fridge or without the relevant medication.

If family or friends might not be available, Home Instead offer Home Help services which can include running errands like picking up food shopping or a prescription from the chemist, and making sure the house is clean and tidy in preparation for the person returning home.

Care assessment

For some patients, the care shouldn’t stop when they leave hospital. The discharge team may assess for care at home if they believe a little extra help might be needed with day-to-day tasks.

Home Instead West Lothian can offer a wide range of domiciliary care services to support someone to return home as well as post-operative and rehabilitation care. In some instances, the individual may require round-the-clock support to enable them to return home in which case we can offer overnight, 24/7 or live-in care.

Regardless of your needs and individual requirements, we complete our own in-depth care consultation to assess and advise what service(s) and support is required before preparing a bespoke personal plan that will incorporate what has been agreed.

Onward referrals

The further support considered should include referrals to any other relevant services.

While the hospital discharge team should put you in touch with these services to arrange any required follow-up, Home Instead can help to support their activity to help aid recovery for the patient. For example, we can prompt, encourage, and assist the patient to complete physical exercises throughout the day as directed by their physiotherapist.

Transport home

It’s the hospital’s responsibility to organise transport home if family can’t do so.

Home Instead can assist with transporting patients home from hospital, as well as to or from any future follow-up appointments, as our Care Professionals are fully insured and covered to do this in their own vehicles.

Equipment aids

If given equipment to aid with recovery, it’s important that both the patient and their carer are confident using it.

Home Instead West Lothian’s Care Professionals are all highly trained and supported to be able to assist clients with poor mobility and with a variety of aids and equipment. We can also help to advise on what adaptations may be worth considering to enable your loved one to remain safely at home.


Regular access might be needed to products that were rarely or never required before, e.g. incontinence products. Discharge plans should include this.

If help may be required due to changes in someone’s condition, Home Instead West Lothian can provide personal care to assist with everything from incontinence care to help with bathing or showering.

Discharging patients is a win-win: hospitals can get access to beds taken up unnecessarily by medically fit patients, while people can get back to the home they love.

If the hospital is struggling to access the required state funded care, it’s important to know what you might be eligible for funding provided by the council to meet social care needs. This can be put towards alternative community care that is available, from a provider such as Home Instead West Lothian, which could help to speed up the discharge process.

For more information on our services or how we can help to support someone returning home from hospital, contact us on 01506 346046 or complete the enquiry form below.