NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB)’s unpaid carers programme has produced this carers hospital discharge toolkit and resources to support NHS trusts to carry out their statutory duty to involve unpaid carers in discharge pathways and to improve unpaid carers’ experiences of discharge through increased identification, support, signposting, and referral.

This toolkit and accompanying resources provide practical guidance for implementing the hospital discharge and community support guidance, information for Integrated Care Systems on virtual wards and the recently released statutory guidance for Discharge from mental health inpatient settings when it comes to supporting unpaid carers, and sit within the wider context of a ‘carer friendly hospital’ approach.

This toolkit is intended for all areas of discharge including acute hospitals, mental health hospitals, and virtual wards. Although the term hospital is used throughout the toolkit, the principles in each step are adaptable for virtual wards.

The toolkit has been coproduced with NHS colleagues, voluntary sector carer organisations and people with lived experience, including those from ethnically diverse backgrounds and young carers. We thank them and all those who have contributed to the development of this toolkit and accompanying resources.