Tracheostomy discharge planning documentation should be used to guide a plan for discharge (see Appendix 5). For safe discharge, it is important to educate the following people while the patient remains an inpatient, on the principles of tracheostomy management to ensure safe discharge home from hospital:
- The patient
- The patient’s relatives/next of kin/carers
- The district/community nursing team
For patients living in the London area, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) must be notified that a patient with a tracheostomy or laryngectomy is living in the community. In the event of an emergency, the LAS will be aware that if answering a 999 call on a patient’s telephone number (home land line) and no-one speaks, that this is an emergency and they will send an ambulance and police immediately. An example of the LAS notification letter can be found in the tracheostomy discharge protocol. For patients living in other parts of the country, similar arrangements can be made with their local ambulance service.
Follow up arrangements for ongoing support and tube changes must be made prior to discharge for patients going home with a tracheostomy. Patients should be offered a follow up appointment in a suitable clinic (ENT or tracheostomy clinic) to be seen in the first 2 weeks post-discharge.