You may need care after your hospital stay. Find out what to expect when you've left hospital

Your recovery

You will stay on a specialist, acute ward while you are acutely ill or having an operation. Once you are recovering and no longer need acute care, you may be moved to another ward where you can focus on getting better and preparing to go home. The recovery ward you move to will be in the same hospital or in another hospital within our Trust. Moving wards means you’ll be in the best environment to recover. It allows us to free up an acute hospital bed for another seriously ill patient who needs urgent treatment or surgery.

Recovery wards

Rehabilitation for Trust surgical patients at Albert ward, St Mary’s

Albert ward is for patients who have just had surgery at one of Imperial College Healthcare’s hospitals – St Mary’s, Charing Cross or Hammersmith – and need a period of recovery and/or rehabilitation before they go home. You may stay on Albert ward at St Mary’s Hospital for a few days or weeks to help you recover and prepare to leave hospital.

Contact Albert ward

Rehabilitation for Trust medical patients at Lady Skinner ward, Charing Cross
Lady Skinner ward is for patients who have just had medical inpatient care at one of Imperial College Healthcare’s hospitals – St Mary’s, Charing Cross or Hammersmith – and need a period of recovery and/or rehabilitation before they go home. You may stay on Lady Skinner ward at St Mary’s Hospital for a few days or weeks to help you recover and prepare to leave hospital. 

Contact lady skinner ward

Leaving hospital

When you are well enough to return home, we will talk to you, your family, friends or carer about your arrangements for leaving hospital.  We will give you an estimated date for your discharge from hospital so you can begin making plans. Sometimes this date changes depending on your condition or treatment, and if this happens we’ll talk to you about it.

Once you have an estimated date for your discharge from hospital, you will need to make arrangements to travel home. You may need to ask a friend, relative or carer to collect you from hospital. You may be asked to wear a mask as you leave hospital. Some patients are eligible to use hospital transport – find out more here.

We have specialist discharge teams at each of our five hospitals, available seven days a week to support patients who are being discharged from hospital. The discharge team can support with organising:

  • Transport home
  • Medication
  • Follow-up care from the hospital or community services
  • Social care 

Our discharge teams look after the care of patients who have complex needs to make sure all the arrangements are in place to support their discharge. 

Further information

Medication 

If your doctor decides you need to take any medication after you have been discharged, the ward and pharmacy staff will give it to you before you leave. They will discuss your medication with you and any possible side effects.

Your discharge summary

When you are discharged, you’ll be given a paper summary of the care you’ve received with us, the results of any tests you’ve had, and any medication you’ve been prescribed. It may also contain isolation guidelines, if appropriate. We will send a copy of your summary electronically to your GP so they have an updated record of your condition and care, which will help them plan any follow up care you need. Your GP will be able to give you any further prescriptions of medication you need. Please contact your GP before your medication runs out and ask for a new prescription. 

Liaison with social services

Many people need extra help from community social services or their local authority when they leave hospital. Before you leave hospital, a social worker or care manager may carry out an assessment of your needs – asking you about yourself and what you may need support with once you are discharged. The hospital ward staff or a member of our discharge team will liaise with social services or local community services on your behalf to put arrangements in place for when you leave hospital.