Guidelines on discharging from hospital

Written by Council for Disabled ChildrenDate 14 Sep 2011

This guide provides a framework to assist staff in hospitals as well as the commissioners and providers in Primary Care Trusts when negotiating and  planning the discharge of children and young people with high support needs.

It covers children who will require an extensive package of support during both the day and night in order to maintain their optimal health, for example, children who require long-term ventilation.

The guidelines set out six basic principles on which the discharge process should be based. These principles ensure that children will be supported to 'be children'; that parents will retain their role in parenting and the home does not become a 'mini hospital'. The discharge process lays out the steps that hospitals and Primary Care Trusts should work through in order to ensure the child and family is appropriately assessed and the support package is planned and delivered in a timely way and is regularly reviewed.
The issue of discharge from hospital was identified as an area of concern by staff from a number of primary care trusts. The leaflet seeks to address their concerns and was written in consultation with staff from hospital and primary care trusts and national organisations working with children who have palliative care needs.

This guide is available for you to download and you can order hard copies by emailing