Southern Cross Hospitals

Going home

Preparing for Discharge

Your doctor(s) and nurse will discuss with you the arrangements for your discharge from hospital. If you have any concerns regarding your discharge or require assistance please discuss this with them.  If you have stayed overnight or longer, discharge time is by 10am. Charges may apply if you decide to extend your stay after your doctor has discharged you.

A discharge form will be completed by the nursing staff outlining details of your procedure and requirements for post operative appointments. You will receive a copy of this form.

Please ensure you have made arrangements for someone to drive you home, as it is unlikely that it will be safe for you to drive yourself following your surgery/procedure.  We also recommend that you arrange for an adult to be with you for at least 24 hours following your return home.  You will need to rest during this time and you may want additional care at home.

Please ensure that you speak to a member of the nursing staff before you leave the ward or day stay unit to ensure that:

  • your discharge information has been completed - including instructions from your surgeon
  • all prescriptions are ready, if required for your recovery, and all medications that you brought with you are packed ready for your return home
  • follow up arrangements have been made with your doctor as necessary
  • your X-rays and/or scans have been collected - where these are hard copies (CT, ultrasound, MRI)
  • any necessary rehabilitation aids have been organised (e.g. crutches).

Please then call at Reception to complete your checkout procedures and to settle any account due at that time (see Payment Information).


If you become unwell

Please call or visit your Surgeon or GP (or Medical Centre) immediately for advice if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Increased pain, redness or swelling in or around the wound 
  • Excessive bleeding or wound ooze 
  • Fever or chills 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain, tenderness or swelling in the calf or thigh 
  • Chest pain and/or breathlessness
  • Any other signs, symptoms or issues that are of concern to your or your family/whanau 



Southern Cross Hospitals welcome all feedback as a means of reinforcing what we do well and identifying the areas where we could improve. We would appreciate you completing a feedback form. This can be left at the hospital reception or posted back to us.  There is a Freepost  address on the back of the Feedback form. You are welcome to contact the Hospital Manager at any time.


Going home FAQs

Can I drive myself home?


You should not drive yourself home after discharge. Please arrange for a relative or friend to take you home, or use a taxi (we recommend that you do not use public transport).

Do I need to see my specialist again?


In most cases you will need to make a follow-up appointment with your specialist if an appointment has not already been arranged for you by our staff. This is usually done by phoning your specialist within a day or so of leaving the hospital. If you have any problems before that appointment please contact your specialist or general practitioner immediately.

What should I do when I get home?


You should arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours after you get home. We recommend that during that time you should rest, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and non-prescribed medications or substances (other than those prescribed by your doctor) and follow the instructions of your doctor and/or hospital staff. In the first 24 hours following surgery you should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery. You are also advised not to make any important decisions or sign any legal documents.