Some of our services have changed. Visit our coronavirus hub for the latest information and advice, including updates about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), support for carers and people living with dementia and direct payments.
Please visit these pages for updates before contacting us.
Going into and leaving hospital
Going into hospital
Going into hospital can be a difficult time. You may need to go to hospital for planned tests or treatment, or admitted in an emergency.
If your treatment is planned, a little preparation can make things easier.
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
The hospitals in Essex provide information online 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.
To find out more, see:
- Broomfield hospital - Your inpatient stay
- Basildon and Thurrock - Your hospital stay
- Colchester University hospital - Inpatient information
- Southend hospital - Your stay in hospital (PDF, 1MB); this guide is also available in easy read format (PDF, 3MB)
You can also find guidance about going into hospital from:
What happens when you arrive at hospital
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