Dirk Bogarde from doctor in the house 1954

Moving into a Care Home from Hospital

Many older people being discharged from hospital will have a local council care assessment. This is to decide if you can get help to return to your own home, or whether your needs can be best met in a care home. The hospital staff should contact social services and arrange this for you, if it looks like you still need help and care.

However, you may continue to get completely free care from the NHS, depending on your medical needs. This is known as continuing NHS health care. You should be assessed for continuing NHS health care before you have a local council care assessment. If you get it, the NHS will decide which care home you will move into.

If you don't get free continuing NHS health care it is your right to make your own decision about which home you will move to. This applies whether you are going into care home from home or from hospital. Finding the sort of place you'd be happy living in can take a while. Hospital staff should understand that you need time to make such an important decision and should not put pressure on you, or your relatives, to choose a home quickly.

Hospitals can sometimes try and hurry you along. If this happens, you may want to point out to the hospital and social services staff that the Government has published guidance giving you the right to choose which home you move to. If you are still not happy you may wish to use their complaints procedure.

You can find more detailed advice on hospital discharge and the NHS complaints procedure in the section on Leaving hospital on the Age UK website.

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