Our autism hub contains over 40 pages about living with autism, caring for those with autism, and the important facts you should know. Find out where local support groups are, and how we can all help to raise awareness of this condition.
In this section we offer you advice on the ways in which you can speak up about the support which you receive. This might involve making a complaint, but could involve giving positive feedback to the people who are supporting you.
Whether you feel nervous around new technology or you're someone who likes to have the latest gadgets, these pages explain the benefits technology can bring, helping you and yours to live independently, or get fitter and healthier.
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Sometimes we know in advance that we will be going into hospital, and sometimes have to go there as an emergency.
On this page we look at what you can expect if you do have to go into hospital, and suggest ways in which you can prepare yourself for a planned admission.
If you know in advance that you are going into hospital, you can make plans for time off work, and arrange for support from loved ones during your stay, and when you go home again. This is particularly the case if you are having a planned operation, such as a hip replacement.
It is worth thinking about what you will need to do before you go into hospital.
Think about who will look after any pets, check your property, and pick up your post whilst you are away.
If you are likely to need help with tasks such as shopping and cooking, or washing and dressing yourself when you go home, then think about whether there are any relatives or friends who could help.
You can also have a look at our Staying in Your Own Home section for other ideas on how you can get the support you need.
Depending on your situation, you may be referred for an assessment from the hospital social work team whilst you are in hospital to see whether you are eligible for support from your local council (see below for more details).
If you look after another person, then think about who will be able to take over this role while you are away, and how much you will be able to do when you come home.
Remember that you and the person you look after may be entitled to support from your local council - there is no need for you to delay or cancel your medical treatment in order to look after someone else.
Go to our section on Looking After Someone for details on how to get the extra help you need.
If you have a health condition which means that you could go into hospital at any time, then think about applying for a Carer's Emergency Card. This will give you peace of mind that arrangements will quickly be made for the person you look after while you are in hospital.
When you arrive in hospital, professionals in charge of your care will develop a plan for both your medical treatment, and for any support which you might need once your treatment is finished. This can include plans for your discharge home, or for your transfer to another support service.
When your discharge or transfer takes place will be affected by:
This might happen if you need additional care after you leave hospital and before you go home, either for more specialist medical treatment, or to help you to regain your independence.
This support may involve other healthcare professionals, such as your GP, community nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
Organisations outside of the NHS may also be involved, such as your local council, social care services, or independent and voluntary organisations (such as charities).
If you are likely to need further care and support when you go home, then the hospital staff will make a referral to the hospital social work team who are employed by your local council. Before they do this they should ask for your consent.
If you think that you will need care and support at home, and the hospital staff have not yet referred you to the social work team, then ask them about this - they won't mind being reminded.
The social work team will contact you or your carer (if you have one) as soon as possible before you are due to go home. They will carry out an assessment for anyone who appears to need further support at home. They will ask hospital professionals for their views and will set up any necessary support you require at home before your discharge.
The kind of support which you might receive, depending on your situation, can include:
Practical support with tasks such as shopping or cooking, or help with personal care tasks such as washing, dressing and going to the toilet
Help to improve your practical skills and build your confidence on returning home. See our page on Regaining Your Independence
Provision of equipment or gadgets which will make you safer and more independent in your home
Planning for changes to your home which will make it more suitable to your changing needs. See our section on Adapting Your Home
Planning for a move to alternative accommodation if this seems necessary. See our section on Finding Somewhere to Live
Support in getting out and about once you get home
Support for a relative or friend who is providing significant support to you. See: Looking After Someone
Advice on money matters, and on making sure that you get all of the benefits to which you are entitled See: Money and Legal
Go to our page on Requesting an Assessment for more information on how the assessment process works, and on what to expect once the assessment is completed.
When you leave hospital you will be given a discharge summary, and a copy will be sent to your GP. This will provide information about your treatment and future care needs.
If you require medical support following discharge home, this will be explained, and details of the services will be given to you before you are discharged.
The NHS Choices website provides more detailed information on what happens when you go into hospital.
Age UK offer advice on Care After Leaving Hospital.
First Stop have produced a fact sheet for older people called: Advice on Hospital Admissions and Discharges.
The Royal Voluntary Service has produce a Hospital Stay Guide.
The Independent Age website have produced a leaflet called Hospital Care in England: What You Need to Know (guide 11).
For more information on hospital care for people with mental health problems go to our Mental Health Care in Hospital page.
Everyone who receives health and social care services should be treated with dignity and respect. So if you want to understand a bit more about what that should look like and what to do if it's sadly missing, click through to our page Dignity in Care.
The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to know what to expect when they go to see a doctor or visit hospital.
© Essex County Council 2018