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Support after leaving hospital

If you have continuing health and social care needs when you leave hospital the NHS and local authorities should work together to meet your needs. Find out about long-term care options.

Care options

Following the assessment there are a number of possible care options including:

  • support at home with a care package of health and social care
  • sheltered housing
  • a care home that does not provide nursing care
  • a care home that does provide nursing care
  • admission for NHS continuing (long-term) care
  • care in a rehabilitation centre

If you have a carer and need extra help when you return home, with your permission, they can be given information about your care needs.

Continuing care from the NHS

Continuing care can include both health and social care. Fully-funded NHS 'continuing care' is a package of care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. To access this care you must meet the eligibility criteria set by your strategic health authority. If staff think you are eligible they will apply on your behalf.

'Continuing health and social care' is a package of care that involves services from both the NHS and social care.

If you meet your strategic health authority's criteria for NHS continuing care, the NHS will pay for all of your care needs. This might be in care home or sometimes in your own home. 

If you don't meet your strategic health authority's criteria for NHS continuing care you may still be entitled to support from health organisations. For instance, your local primary care trust, and from your local council. When they assess you for discharge from hospital, your discharge team should arrange for assessments to identify your needs and make appropriate referrals for you. 


There are a number of rehabilitation centres throughout the country. These have the facilities to help rehabilitate people with impairments as a result of injury or illness. 

Types of support include:

  • physiotherapy
  • speech therapy
  • occupational therapy

Referral to a rehabilitation centre can come from your hospital consultant or your local doctor (GP).

  • Source Direct Gov
  • Last Updated: 06 Jan 2012