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Monday, 27 June 2011

In hospital

If you go into hospital for a consultation or a longer stay, you’ll need to let the hospital know about your disability and if you’ll need extra support. You’ll also need to consider what happens to any benefits or financial support you normally get. Learn more about going into hospital.

Entering hospital

When you enter hospital an admission form will be completed by you and hospital staff. This is a standard procedure. Sometimes you will be able to complete this form before going to hospital.

The form records any needs which you may want the hospital to be aware of. It's intended to give hospital staff an idea of how much help you may require during your time there.

If your local doctor refers you for treatment in hospital, they should discuss any specific needs you may have with hospital staff.

If you are normally cared for at home, you may like to include your carer when you talk to hospital staff.

Appointments and consultations

Some arrangements may need to be made before going to hospital for a consultation or a longer stay. For example, if you are deaf or have a hearing impairment, arrangements can be made for a sign language interpreter to be available for a certain period.

Some organisations that support people with specific needs give advice on staying in hospital.

In hospital

You can discuss any requirements you have with hospital staff before, or on, admission to hospital. This could include:

  • any routines that you have
  • specialist equipment that the hospital may not be able to provide
  • being able to have someone present at certain times, for example, a carer
  • easy access to facilities, for example, bathrooms and toilets
  • being able to enjoy TV or radio, for example, using a fixed loop or subtitles

Benefits and financial support

If you are going in to hospital you should immediately notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and, if necessary, the council office that deals with your claims for Housing and Council Tax Benefit.  

This is important as in most cases any benefit entitlement will have to be reassessed to take account of your new circumstances.

If you were not claiming any form of benefit before entering hospital you may be entitled to claim.

Help with travel costs

If you are able to use public transport but are unable to pay for it, you may be entitled to help. The 'Healthcare Travel Costs' scheme is available on the basis of benefits received and includes help for parents taking children to appointments. See the link ‘Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme’ to find out more.

If you’re attending hospital as an outpatient and you’re unable to use public transport for a medical reason, medical staff should arrange transport for you. The only people who can generally authorise hospital or ambulance transport are:

  • a hospital consultancy team
  • a general medical practice
  • a midwife
  • a dentist - in some circumstances

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