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Resource type: Article

Hospital discharge letter

What is a hospital discharge letter?

A hospital discharge letter is a brief medical summary of your hospital admission and the treatment you received whilst in hospital.It is usually written by one of the ward doctors.

The Intensive Care doctors will usually write a separate letter to your GP, telling them about how and why you ended up in Intensive Care and your treatment while you were there.You won't normally receive a copy of this, however.

What if I don't understand what's written in my discharge letter?

You might find that it is written in very medical terms and that you don't quite understand some of the medical or technical terms. Ask your nurse or doctor if you have any questions.

Do I get a copy of the hospital discharge letter?

Yes,you should receive a copy.If you're not offered one before you go home, ask your nurse of doctor to make sure that you get one.

When will my GP receive my hospital discharge letter?

There can sometimes be quite a delay until your hospital letter reaches your GP (sometimes several weeks). He or she might not yet be aware that you have been in hospital.

Depending on how long you were in Intensive Care, he or she may have received a letter from your consultant in Intensive Care, telling them about how and why you ended up in Intensive Care and the treatments you received while you were there.