Needs of the person you are supporting
Supporting a person who has been discharged from hospital
When someone has spent time in hospital it could have been for a variety of reasons. You are unlikely to know the reason for their hospital stay unless they declare this to you. Therefore, we need to ensure that the topics of discussion and the questions we are ask are suitable.
The person you are calling's needs would have been discussed before discharge and an appropriate plan will be in place to ensure they can be well and safe at home.
Below are some handy hints and tips to have a conversation with someone who has recently been discharged from hospital:
Helpful points to consider
Set the scene at the beginning of the conversation
When you introduce yourself, they may think you are calling from the NHS or hospital. Let them know that you are a volunteer who is calling to check-in on them. An individual may be confused and assume that because you are a Volunteer Responder they may be able to discuss their health situation with you and ask for medical advice.
Ask the individual how they are feeling
They may be feeling apprehensive, and this will open up the conversation and give them an opportunity to let you know their individual situation. They would have been used to having people around them in the hospital and now feel isolated and lonely. This call could really brighten their day.
Appreciate that they may not be feeling well and their individual situation may be challenging at the moment. It can be unsettling coming home after a hospital stay, they may feel less independent and are having to adapt to the changes.
Find out if they need support
People may have mechanisms of support in place, friends, family or care plan. But it’s always worth checking if they need any support. Are they able to complete practical tasks like their shopping or pick up any prescriptions they may have for example. You can contact the support team on 0808 196 3382 if you have concerns that they need additional support outside local services
Raise any concerns with the Support Team
If you are concerned about someone’s health or wellbeing declining, or they have told you something that just doesn’t sit right, please raise this with the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 who will escalate to our Safeguarding Team.
Aim to keep the conversation uplifting
They may be in pain and readjusting to being home. They may find things challenging at the moment. Appreciate their concerns and talk about what things they are looking forward to doing when they feel ready to do so.
Don’t offer medical advice
You may have experience in their situation, but we should never offer medical advice. The support you are offering is compassion and a friendly ear.
Don’t ask health questions
They may want to share their experiences with you, but don’t question their health situation. Any information they choose to share must remain confidential.
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Page last reviewed: 20 December 2023