What happens when the person you care for is discharged from hospital?

Around 150,000 people in Kent are looking after someone right now. What happens when the person they care for is discharged from hospital? What support is available? How do they cope?
support for carers

We spoke to 10 carers in depth about their story. They told us how they coped when the person they care for was recently discharged from hospital.

What are the headlines?

  • Poor communication between hospital and carer
  • Carers were not involved in the patient’s care
  • Carers struggled to access social care and mobility equipment
  • Many carers did not receive guidance or information about providing patient with ongoing care at home
  • Medication was unavailable, not ready at point of discharge or often incorrect
  • Carers would have liked to have felt acknowledged, included and asked how they were coping
Every call had to be generated by me to the hospital and I found the lack of information not only very frustrating but also extremely distressing.
— Carer
I was just left to get on with it
— Carer

What happens now?

We brought together professionals working in the NHS and social care to discuss the findings and encourage them to make changes. We have made three recommendations of change which we would like to see happen here in Kent:

All Kent NHS Trusts to have accurate up-to-date information on their websites for carers

Hospital discharge areas to have accurate leaflets & posters with information about support for carers

All health and social care organisations to share what's working well with each other so they can make improvements within their own organisations

Changes on a national level

We're also working with NHS England and NHS Improvement on a national stage. They are currently working to create a new national Commitment to Carers which will be influenced by the feedback we have heard.


Read all the stories we heard in our report here

Healthwatch Kent spotlight on carers experience of hospital discharge

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

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