Going into hospital

What to do if you have to go into hospital and getting support when you leave.

If you are admitted to hospital as an emergency, you may be worried about a person that you care for, your home or your pets while you are away.

Ask to speak to a hospital social worker who will be able to make alternative arrangements for their care or to secure your home. We have teams of social workers at all the Oxford city hospitals as well as the Horton Hospital in Banbury.

In community hospitals, ask a member of hospital staff for help.

Before you go

If you have a date for admission, it's important that you make plans in advance. Discuss your concerns with hospital staff when you attend clinics before your operation.

Who can help plan my care before I leave hospital?

We have social workers based in Oxfordshire hospitals who can help you plan your care for when you leave hospital. If we cannot help, we will tell you about other organisations who may be able to help.

Inform one of your nurses if:

  • you were receiving care before your admission and it will need to be resumed on discharge
  • it is clear that you will be needing care, perhaps for the first time.

The hospital will arrange for a social worker to visit you on the ward.

What care is available?

If you are leaving hospital, you can be assessed for care while you are recovering. Depending on your assessment, you may be offered a period of rehabilitation care. Help that may be available:

  • assistance with getting up in the mornings, washing, dressing, getting ready for bed
  • physiotherapy in your own home
  • regular visits to community support service centres
  • a rehabilitative stay in a care home or a community hospital
  • occupational therapy to help you stay in your own home.

You can find more information in our Living at home section.

Reablement Service (HART)

Countywide service providing time limited reablement support to in the community.

Aim of the service

The reablement service provided by HART (Home Assessment and Reablement Team) allows you to leave hospital once your medical needs are stable; or to remain at home following a minor accident or illness, rather than being admitted into hospital or residential care.  The service is provided by Oxfordshire University Hospitals Foundation Trust on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.

What does the service offer?

You will have a holistic initial assessment in your home, followed by support to assist you regain as much independence as possible to enable you to live at home safely. It might include support with managing your meals, managing your medication, assisting you with washing, dressing, personal hygiene and getting up or going to bed.

Who is the service for?

The service is for people aged 18 or over who are resident in Oxfordshire and have stable medical needs which can be met in the community.

How long will the service last?

This depends on how effective the service is in helping you to regain your agreed level of independence, or what is termed your "reablement potential". This is the point at which it is identified that you either need long term services or no longer require care. This might be after a few days or several weeks.

Are there any costs involved?

You will not be charged for your HART service, however when you reach your "reablement potential" if you wish to continue to use the service, Oxfordshire County Council will complete an assessment of your ongoing care needs as well as a financial assessment to establish if you need to contribute towards the cost of your care. If you are expected to make a contribution this will begin from the date it is identified that you need long term care and support.

Find out more about the financial assessment.

What happens after I have received my HART service?

Your needs will be assessed and Oxfordshire County Council will work with you to decide what continuing support if any you will need. Some people may need longer term support to help them carry out day to day tasks.

If you can manage independently, you can still find a range of information and support on Live Well Oxfordshire

You might want to consider using assistive technology - a range of gadgets to help you stay safe and independent.

What if I need support for a longer period of time?

You could choose to arrange your own care or ask Oxfordshire County Council to help arrange your care or receive support from family, friends or neighbours.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions about your short term services you can speak to the organisation providing it or alternatively, contact us.

How to avoid falling

The Oxfordshire Falls Prevention Service offers help and advice to help people to avoid falls and regain confidence if they have experienced a fall.

Organising your benefits

You need to notify benefit offices if you are going into hospital. You should immediately notify the Department for Work and Pensions and the district council office that deals with your claims for housing and council tax benefit. Find your district council.

Ask for information or download online forms in which you can tell your district council about your change of circumstances.

If you were not claiming any form of benefit prior to entering hospital, you may now be entitled to claim.

When you come out of hospital you should notify both the Department for Work and Pensions and your district housing and council tax benefit office.

This is important as you will need to have your benefit reassessed when you return home. You may also be entitled to other benefits if you have become disabled as a result of your illness. More information about benefits.