Help from Social Services
Going into hospital can be a difficult time, but you may not know that the Social Services departments of Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton are there to offer help and advice on a range of issues, before, during and after your stay.

Before going into hospital
If you have caring responsibilities, for example for children or another relative, it may be possible for your local Social Services department to arrange for some temporary care while you are away. For children, this may be a temporary fostering arrangement, while for elderly people, it may be a short stay in a residential home.

If you are already receiving a care package from Social Services, you should remember to tell your care manager that you are going into hospital, so that the package can be adjusted for the length of your stay. Keep in touch with them during your
stay, so that they can be involved in deciding the best package for you when you leave hospital.

While you are in hospital
The hospital you are in probably has its own social work department, and they should be your first port of call. Your ward sister can tell you how to get in touch with them.
If you or someone who cares for you need information, help or advice, then Social Services staff may be very well placed to give it to you. In particular, you may be asking questions about how you are going to cope once you leave hospital and return home.

Depending on your circumstances, we can offer a wide variety of help. Whether we can help practically or not, and how much help we are able to offer, will depend upon your level of need and the availability of resources, but we can certainly advise on care at home, on a temporary or more long-term basis, or on stays in residential homes.

There is much practical help available in the home ­ from sitting, bathing and community meals services to adaptations and gadgets that may make your life easier once you leave hospital. Social Services can advise on all of these, and may even be able to provide you with some equipment on loan. In addition, we can help you find out about day centres and lunch clubs in your local area, to give you a bit of a social life once you are out of hospital. We can also offer support for carers.

Advice and help is available to people of all ages and in all situations. If you think you might need help, it cannot hurt to ask. We have a wide selection of booklets and leaflets that can give you more pointers to sources of help and information.

Before you leave hospital
If you already had a care package before you went into hospital, or if the social work department and you decide that you need one for when you leave, it is important to get it sorted out before you are discharged. Social Services has a responsibility to make sure that no-one leaves hospital without appropriate ongoing care measures in place.

The options may range from a Œhome from hospital¹ scheme, where a carer will visit you for a few weeks after you return home to make sure everything is OK, to more long-term care. Whatever you decide is best, Social Services can explain your options and, once your care package is arranged, we will put it in writing and give you an idea of how much it will cost you. Only when the arrangements are in placed can you be discharged.

Don¹t be frightened
Some people feel that they should not ask for help from Social Services, but it is very important to make sure that you are as well looked after when you leave hospital as you are when you are in hospital.

The following hospitals have on-site Social Work departments:
Alton Community Hospital
Andover War Memorial Hospital
Fordingbridge Hospital
Frimley Park Hospital
Gosport War Memorial Hospital
Moorgreen Hospital, West End
North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke
Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham
Ravenswood House, Knowle
Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester
Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton
Southampton General Hospital
St James’ Hospital, Portsmouth
St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth
The Mount Hospital, Eastleigh
The Royal Hospital, Gosport
Western Community Hospital, Millbrook.

If the hospital you are in does not have its own department, then the ward sister can put you in touch with the local Social Services office, who can send someone to see you.

In an Emergency
There is an emergency out-of-hours service for any urgent problems that cannot wait. You will be able to speak to a social worker who will direct you towards someone who can help if they cannot do so themselves.
The number to ring in Southampton is 023 8023 3344.
If you are in Portsmouth or anywhere in Hampshire you should call 01489 589637.