Going into and leaving hospital

What to do if you have to go into hospital, what happens when you arrive and getting support when you leave

Going into hospital

Who will look after things while you are in hospital?

Think about who will look after things while you are away.

You may need to arrange with a family member or friend to help out with things like checking on your home, picking up post, looking after your pet, if you have one.

Do you look after someone else?

If you look after someone else, you will need to find someone to take over this role while you are in hospital, and possibly for a while, when you come home.

If you are a carer, both you and the person you look after may be entitled to support from your local council. For more information, see our section on support for carers.

Sorting out money and benefits

When you or a member of your family go into or come out of hospital, the benefits you get may change. This depends on the type of benefit you get, and the length of time you stay in hospital. It can also affect your partner or carers benefits.

To find out more, see the Turn2us website.

Preparing for your stay

Your hospital should provide you with information about about how to prepare for your stay, what you should bring with you, as well as other information on what to expect when you arrive. Contact your local hospital for more information.

You can also find guidance about going into hospital from:

What happens when you arrive at hospital

The NHS has a video which explains your stay in hospital and what to expect.

Age UK has a comprehensive guide called 'Your hospital stay' (PDF, 495KB). It explains what to expect when going into hospital, what should happen while you're in hospital, and the steps that should be taken to prepare for your discharge.

If you look after a pet

If you are on a low income, the PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) may be able to help you with vet care.

If you are no longer able look after your pet, there are charities and organisations that can help including:

  • RSPCA can help find your pet a new home through its specialist re-homing service
  • Animal Rescuers can help you find a new home for your pet
  • National Careline gives information on what happens to your pet if you have to go into care
  • Cinnamon Trust provides short-term or long-term care for pets whose owners have gone in to care