Leaving a hospital after treatment is called hospital discharge.

Plan for what happens

When we plan your discharge, we'll discuss next steps with you. These include:

  • any follow-up tests and appointments
  • your health goals
  • medicines you may need to take
  • equipment you may need to use at home.

There are some other things you'll also need to do. These include:

  • helping decide what your care plan should be
  • understanding how your choices can affect your recovery
  • letting your family or carer about what they need to do to help you recover.

Plan how to get home

It's best to have someone help you get home safely. Ask a family member, carer or friend, if you can.

It might not be possible to give you the actual discharge time, but we'll give you an approximate time, so you can make travel arrangements.

Decide on your plan before you're discharged. If you need help, let us know.

If you need to travel to access your care, you may be able to get help with travel and accommodation costs. Go to the Queensland Government website to find out if you can use the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.

Right before you leave

Make sure your nurse or doctor gives you:

  • your discharge letter
  • your follow-up outpatient appointment details
  • any new medication, scripts and instructions
  • arrangements for community support services.

Also make sure:

  • you've got your medicines – some medications must be bought from the hospital pharmacy
  • you've arranged for equipment or aids that you need at home
  • you've got the medical certificates that you need for work or study
  • you know who to contact us if you have questions
  • your contact details are correct
  • you have transport home
  • you have your personal belongings
  • you've collected any items held for you.

We may also ask you for feedback on your stay and welcome any comments or suggestions you wish to share.

After you leave

You may need to return for an outpatient appointment.

Let us know if you cannot attend the appointment. We can give you a new date and give your appointment slot to someone else.

Leaving against medical advice

We monitor patients' progress to check if they're well enough to go home.

Leaving before you're ready could put your health at risk. If you decide to leave, you'll need to sign a disclaimer form.

You should come back to hospital if your condition doesn't improve.

Raise concerns about a patient's health (Ryan's Rule)

If a person's condition is getting worse or not improving as well as expected, their family and carer can express their concerns. They can do this through an escalation process, Ryan's Rule.

Go to Clinical Excellence Queensland to find out about the steps involved.

Last updated: December 2022