If you cannot use public or private transport, then try contacting a wheelchair accessible taxi firm or one of the voluntary organisations who can provide transport for hospital appointments. Your GP surgery may have a list of local hospital transport schemes. You can also search the community groups directory and select the type of transport and area required.
Going into and leaving hospital
Going into hospital
Whether you are admitted to hospital by appointment or following an accident or emergency, the clinical staff are there to make sure that you are well looked after and that you get the treatment you need.
The hospitals in Birmingham and their websites are:
- Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust (opens in new window), including West Heath and Moseley Hall Hospitals, community hospitals and provision of services within care centres.
- Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (opens in new window)
- Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust (opens in new window)
- University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust (opens in new window) - Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Heartlands Hospital and Good Hope Hospital
- Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital Trust (opens in new window) - City Hospital
- Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital (opens in new window)
There are some standards which the NHS hospitals must meet. The hospital staff must:
- show respect for your privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs
- handle your treatment with complete confidentiality
- look after you in a clean and safe environment
- provide a named nurse in charge of your care
Below is some further information areas in relation to going into and leaving hospital
If you know you are going into hospital, you should start thinking about what will happen when you leave. Some matters that will be particularly important are:
- will you have a key or will there be someone at home to let you in?
- will you have clothes to go home in, shoes and a coat?
- will there be food in the house?
- will the house be warm enough?
- who will you be taking you home?
- have you any close friends, relatives or neighbours who can help you if needed?
If you are admitted to hospital as an emergency case, you will need to consider these matters as soon as you are well enough. It is important that you, or your family or friends, raise any concerns you may have about your discharge from hospital as soon as possible.
If there will be nobody to help when you leave hospital
If you have nobody to help you, let the nursing staff looking after you know about your concerns as soon as possible. With your agreement, and where appropriate, they will refer you to the hospital social work team who can make an assessment of your needs. It is important that you tell them your views and wishes for the future. If you have someone who helps to look after you, their views, with your permission, will also be considered. They will also have the opportunity to have their own needs assessed through a carer's assessment.
You may feel that you are fine to return home but if you get home and find that your are having difficulty coping with tasks around the house or with getting out, you can find a lot of information which can help you in the Staying Independent, Equipment House or Products and Services pages. There are also local and community groups in Birmingham that can help. These are listed on our Community Asset Directory.
If you need further help and advice, contact Birmingham City Council Adult Social Care Directorate (opens in new window).
Support when you return home
Some people may return home from hospital with support. This may be from adult social care and/or NHS health teams depending on their needs. If you have an ongoing social care need, your social care practitioner will work with you to produce a support plan.
Unable to return home
If you are unable to return home, even with help, health and/or social care staff will discuss your options with you. You may be eligible for bed-based service that allows older people to have a short term stay of up to six weeks in a nursing home setting, after your stay in hospital.
NHS information about leaving hospital (opens in new window)
Information about care after being in hospital from Age UK (opens in new window)
Information about caring for someone coming out of hospital from Carers UK (opens in new window)
Other care and support advice from Birmingham City Council (opens in new window)
Carers often worry about what will happen if, at short notice, they are unable to care.
Forward Carers will help you to discuss and develop you own emergency plan so that you can arrange care or support at short notice.
Your State Pension stays the same no matter how long you are in hospital but a prolonged stay may affect some benefits you are entitled to.
- If you receive an Attendance Allowance and are going to be in hospital for more than four weeks, call the Attendance Allowance Helpline (opens in new window) on 0345 605 6055
- If you receive the Personal Independence Allowance (PIP), you should contact the PIP General Information line (opens in new window) on 0345 850 3322.
You should also contact Birmingham City Council (opens in new window) who may deal with your claims for housing and council tax benefit. In most cases they will reassess your benefit entitlement to take account of your new circumstances.
To find out if any other benefit you are claiming (e.g. Jobseeker's allowance) is affected by a stay in hospital or if there are any benefits that you may now be entitled to, contact your local Jobcentre Plus (opens in new window).
If you have a pet and go into hospital, you will need someone to look after it while you are there. You can ask a family member, neighbour or friend to help look after your pet in the short term but you may need to contact a local cattery or kennel. You should find details of these in the telephone directory.
Other source of help include:
- Your vet may know of voluntary groups or sitters who can help
- The National Association of Registered Petsitters (opens in new window) has details of registered sitters in your area. (These services are not free and rates will vary)
There is more information on caring for pets as you age here.
If you go into hospital in an emergency, you may not have time to make arrangements for your pet. Your Social Worker will advise you of the available options to you. They may ask you to make a reasonable contribution towards the cost of any temporary accommodation.
If you are unable to return home, the Council will talk to you, or to someone you have authorised to act on your behalf. They will agree what is the best option for your pet. They will not make any decision to rehome your pet without consent from you or your authorised representative.