Your loved one may be entering into hospital as an outpatient, a day case or most likely, as an inpatient.
You may know that they are entering the hospital so you can take time to prepare, or they may be admitted in an emergency which means you have not had time to make any arrangements.
If they are entering as an Outpatient or a day case procedure there are things you may want to check:
Do they have a pre-assessment date? – as this will be an added appointment you may need to escort them too.
Where do you need to go in the hospital for the appointments?
Is there anything that they need to do or not do before their appointment? – such as no food or drink to be consumed.
Do they need a translator or do they have any special needs which need to be shared?
What is the current Covid Protocol for the hospital?
Who is the named consultant or doctor they are seeing and having treatment with?
If they have been admitted as an inpatient and you are unsure of how long they will be in hospital, here are some things you might find useful to do:
Use the Hospital Bag Checklist (see appendix) and tick off the items as you pack for them.
Arrange any practicalities such as any time off work you may need or any childcare you may require.
Inform the hospital team of any Power of Attorney procedures which are in place.
What are the visiting times and how many people can visit?
What ward are they in and which doctor are they under the care of?
What are the car parking facilities and how much does it cost?
Inform family, any known health and social care professionals/home care workers and any appointments your loved one may usually attend?
Whilst your loved one is in hospital there are ways you can still support them:
Encourage your loved one to look after themselves within the hospital by eating and drinking regularly. If you can support and remind them to do this whilst you are there, they will be more likely to do these things whilst you are there.
When necessary you may need to speak on behalf of your loved one. This could be if they are unable to or if they feel uncertain raising concerns.
Find out what time the consultant visits to do their rounds and be there if you can to ask any questions.