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Extra help at home when you leave hospital

You can read this information leaflet on this page or you can download it in pdf format using this link:  Extra help at home when you leave hospital (PDF).



After a stay in hospital you may require extra help when you go home, especially if you live on your own. This page tells you what services are available to help you, and the person who looks after you (your carer), on your return.

Discharge arrangements vary slightly from hospital to hospital, but before you go home, hospital staff will arrange either:

  •  for a worker to come and discuss with you in hospital the help you might need, and arrange for services to be ready for you when you return home. In most cases, a worker will visit you again once you have settled in at home, to make sure that the services arranged meet your needs, or
  • for a worker to visit you once you have returned home to discuss your circumstances, and work out with you what help you need.

The discussion you have with Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing or Health staff about the help you need at home is called an 'assessment'. During an assessment, you can always have your carer, a relative, or a friend to support you, if you wish.

Following assessment, a range of services is available to help you, and some of these are listed below. To find out more, you can contact Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing on 0300 1234 131, or refer to the appropriate Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing publication - see Information leaflets and on-line publications. The person who carries out your assessment will also give you more information about services to suit your particular circumstances.

Promoting independence. If you no longer need hospital care, but you are anxious about how you will cope at home, Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing and the NHS in Cornwall have devised a range of schemes across the county. These include: 

  • extra help from therapists in the community
  • STEP Service
  • help from trained care workers who work with you to manage daily living tasks
  • short-term residential care for people leaving hospital, who do not feel confident about returning home straightaway, and need some more rehabilitation

The person who carries out your assessment will discuss these options with you.

Community Nursing. District Nurses, and other healthcare staff attached to your Doctor's surgery, will complete an assessment and will provide nursing care according to your needs. This may be either at the surgery or in your own home, and arrangements will have been made in hospital before you return home.

Rapid Assessment Team. A worker from the Rapid Assessment Team may come and see you when you leave hospital and if you need it, they can offer you a rehabilitation service and/or care at home to get you going again. The service is usually available for 7 days following discharge, and there is no charge for this period of time.

Help at home with personal care. This can help you with day-to-day personal care such as bathing and dressing. The service is available according to need, and where we can, we will aim to maintain your independence through rehabilitation. For more information contact Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing on 0300 1234 131.

Rehabilitation Care Assistants offer more specialist help at home, to assist people to regain their skills, and so maintain their independence. They work to a therapist's treatment plan for short-term periods, and may for example help people carry out physiotherapy exercises, or regain their confidence in daily living skills such as washing, dressing or cooking.

Care and Support Service. A British Red Cross volunteer can give you short-term help with shopping, preparing light meals, escorting to appointments and befriending. The hospital should have details of the scheme, or alternatively contact the British Red Cross on 01872 267950.

Meals at home. Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing can help you to arrange for hot or frozen meals to be delivered to your home.

Day Care in a day centre or care home in your area may sometimes be available to meet specific needs that you may have, for example for bathing facilities.

Equipment and adaptations to your home can be arranged to help you on your return home. A specialist worker can advise you on equipment to help with daily living, such as items for the bathroom or kitchen, and minor adaptations, such as stair-rails or hand-rails. See Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing publication Home Adaptations.

Emergency communications systems. The Lifeline system enables you to communicate in an emergency with staff that run a central alarm system 24 hours per day. The system is available for a small charge.  You can ring 01872 224521 to find out more about the service in your area.  See also Lifeline.

Transport. A number of organisations run volunteer transport schemes, for which there is usually a small charge. For further information, please contact:

Transport Access Pilot (TAP), a co-ordinated service to take patients to hospital or other appointments, on 01872 223 388.

Wheelchair hire. Some organisations offer wheelchairs for short and long-term hire either for a small charge or a donation.
Please contact

  • Tremorvah Industries 01872 324340
  • St John Ambulance    01726 815967 
  • British Red Cross      01872 267950

To find out more about who can have a service, if you have to pay, how to make a comment or complaint, what happens to your personal information, and other Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing information leaflets, please look at our Is there anything else I should know? page.

AskSARA is a free quick and easy-to-use on-line tool that will guide users through some questions then offer a range of solutions to aid independent living.     

Adult social care

0300 1234 131