Leaving hospital

Early in your hospital stay your consultant will inform you of an estimated date of discharge (EDD) and will keep you updated if this date changes. The date is to help you and your family/carers to plan ahead. Please ask ward staff if you are unsure about your estimated date of discharge.

You should also inform the ward staff of any existing support you have such as family support, home care or any Trust community services you already receive, so these can be taken into account when getting ready to leave hospital.

You will normally be discharged before 12 pm on the day you are due to leave hospital so that any support services that need to commence on the day of your discharge can proceed.  Please ensure that your have made plans to be collected before 12 pm so that arrangements can be made for the next patient who will be using the bed.


You will be expected to make your own transport arrangements with your family/carer when returning home from a stay in hospital. For information on public transport please phone Translink on 028 9066 6630 or visit www.translink.co.uk.

If your family/carer are unable to bring you home then you may be eligible for Non-Emergency Patient Transport. You must have a medical need to be considered for Non-Emergency Patient Transport, your medical need will be determined and confirmed by a doctor.

Antrim Area Hospital has Trust Bus Service. This service has a dedicated driver and health care assistant who can safely transport patients home following discharge from the hospital in some situations. They also ensure, if the patient is going to their own home, that the patient is safe and comfortable before they leave. Please ask ward staff about this service.

Claiming benefits

If you are claiming Statutory Sick Pay or Incapacity Benefit, ask the ward manager/senior nurse for a ‘Hospital In-Patient Certificate’ showing the date you were discharged.  Your GP will give you further medical certificates after this date if you need them.


Before you leave hospital please make sure you have:

  • • A discharge letter to pass onto your GP.
    • Any medicines you need.
    • Suitable clothing for travelling home
    • Any special equipment for home you may need.
    • A note of the date and time of any follow-up outpatient appointment.
    • Told your local social security office when you will be going home so they can re-adjust your benefits (if this applies to you).
    • Made arrangements for someone to take you home. You will only be taken by ambulance if your doctor says this is necessary because of your condition.



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