Getting discharged from hospital

We'll monitor your progress in hospital and discharge you when we're sure it's safe to send you home.

The day before you go home, we'll talk with you about the plan for your ongoing care. We'll also tell you what you can and can't do when you go home. For example bathing, exercise and diet. If you're unsure or have any questions, don't hesitate to ask about this before you leave.

You may need to continue treatment when you get home. You may also need some home support services or follow up specialist or clinic appointments.

Ask the staff who you should contact if you have any problems after you leave. You can always contact your GP also.

Planning your discharge

Planning your discharge is an important part of your recovery process. The aim of planning your discharge is to achieve your release from hospital as soon as you are well enough. Your active involvement in achieving this aim will be through your:

  • participation in decisions about your health care
  • acceptance of responsibility for your behaviour and the decisions made
  • arranging transport home with a relative or friend
  • supplying the name and contact details of your GP

Medical and nursing staff will work with you, a relative or friend, and community services to plan the most appropriate support for you after discharge. Your participation in this decision making is vital to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Discharge times

Discharge times vary between wards and hospitals. We try to discharge patients in the morning, but it's not always possible. We'll give you an approximate discharge time to help you arrange transport from the hospital.

If you can't leave hospital at the time planned for your discharge, you may be able to wait in the Transit Lounge. You'll be cared for until you're discharged.

Your medications for home

We'll let you know about changes to your medication or any new medicine that you'll need to take. We'll tell you what they are and when you need to take them.

Some medications you must get through a hospital pharmacy, you'll need to pay for these. Make sure you check if you need more medicine from our pharmacy before you go home.

Before you leave

Before you leave the hospital, make sure your nurse or doctor gives you:

  • your discharge letter
  • your follow up outpatient appointment details
  • any new medication, scripts and instructions
  • arrangements for community support services.

You should also make sure:

  • you know who to contact if you have any questions or concerns
  • you have all your personal belongings
  • you've collected any items held for you
  • your contact details are correct
  • you've got any medical certificates that you need for work or study
  • you have transport home
  • you've arranged any equipment or aids required to assist you in managing at home.

After you leave hospital, you may need to return for an outpatient clinic. If you need to know more, call your hospital. They'll help connect you to the clinic on your appointment card or letter.

If you can’t get to an appointment, please call us using the phone number on your appointment letter;so we can give your appointment to someone else.

Discharge against medical advice

If you decide to leave against our medical advice, you could be putting your health at risk. We'll ask you to sign a disclaimer form. You should return to hospital if your condition doesn't improve.

Getting home from hospital

If you can, ask a family member or friend to take you home from hospital. We recommend that you have someone to help you get home safely. Make plans for someone to pick you up before you're discharged. If you need help with transport, please let your care team know.

Ambulances don't usually take people home from hospital and the hospital doesn't pay for taxis. It's up to you to arrange your own way home. You can talk to us if you're having problems getting home.

Our hospitals have seating available in the transport waiting areas. There is also seating in parking bays located close by, and a short term pick up and drop off rank near to the hospital. You can order taxis at each of our hospitals.

Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS)

The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme helps with travel and accommodation costs for patients who need to use specialist medical services. You need to get approval before you travel.

Find out if you're eligible on the Queensland Government website.

Last updated: December 2022