Help us help you – bring a loved one home for Christmas

Home for Christmas
Help us help you – bring a loved one home for Christmas
20 December 2019

A special message from our Clinical Chair, Dr Nicola Decker:

Each year, hundreds of patients spend Christmas Day in Basingstoke North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester. While this may be the right place for most, for many it is the last place they want to be.

We know how important it is for people to be back home with family, friends and neighbours at Christmas which is why we’re doing everything we can to make this happen. It can also help them recover more quickly in comfortable surroundings with family and friends.

It’s a real team effort with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and lots of others working together to make sure everyone who is well enough can leave hospital and be home for Christmas.

And you can help us too. If you have a family member, friend or neighbour in our hospital, there are things you can do to support their discharge from hospital, including:

  • Staying in contact with the ward they are on so everyone is clear on the expected date of discharge
  • Supporting with any necessary arrangements to provide suitable clothing and shoes for the patient, and understanding their ongoing medication needs
  • Helping with their transport home – if you can help take a relative, friend or neighbour home when they are ready to leave hospital it helps them get home more quickly and it helps the NHS, too. Whilst there is NHS funded transport for some patients, it is really there to be used only for those who cannot use usual transport due to a medical condition or who are going on to another NHS or social care service
  • And little things like popping some milk and food in their fridge, turning on the heating in their home, and checking for trip/fall hazards like trailing cables and rugs can make all the difference, too.

All these things can help people leaving hospital get back in their own homes more smoothly and in time to celebrate Christmas.

Remember there’s still a range of health help and advice available to you and your loved ones over the Christmas and New Year period should you need it. Why not download the NHS app. Once home from hospital follow any advice provided on the discharge summary first, but if you’re unsure what to do, call NHS 111 or contact your GP surgery.

Some pharmacies will be open during the bank holidays, so take a look at here if you think you might need one.

Our Need NHS Help IN A Hurry? page can help point you in the right direction if you need other help.

If you are able to help, thank you from us all, and have a really happy and healthy Christmas.