Coming home from hospital
Leaving hospital after meningitis can be a worrying time and it is understandable that you might feel anxious about returning home. It is natural you will have questions and concerns about the recovery process but because we are here no-one has to suffer alone.
What you should be offered when you leave hospital
All health professionals should be aware that after-effects of meningitis aren't always present straight away. Don't forget you can speak to your GP about any concerns about your recovery.
Anyone leaving hospital after meningitis should be given an individual plan for future treatment and care, as well as being made aware of what support is available.
- Ask for information and contact details for further care and patient support
- The hospital should tell your GP, health visitor and school nurse (for children) that you have had meningitis
- Hearing loss is a common after-effect of bacterial meningitis; it is vital that a hearing test is done within four weeks of being well enough to test
- Everyone should be offered a follow-up appointment around four to six weeks after leaving hospital. This is to discuss how the recovery process is going and any potential complications you might be concerned about
For children we have ‘My Journal’, a resource that allows you to keep track of their recovery, follow-up appointments and continued care and support.
After-effectsSerious and potential long-term after-effects of meningitis are usually identified whilst a person is still in hospital. In these cases, follow-up care and recovery will be unique to that person.
- Most people will make a good recovery from meningitis. However, for many, they recover from the acute phase of the illness only to find that whilst trying to get back to their everyday activities, they experience some difficulties
- For survivors, persistent headaches, tiredness, memory problems, personality changes and depression are just some of the ‘hidden’ after-effects they can experience
- Because the person seems to have visibly made a good recovery, it can be very difficult to make health professionals, family and friends understand that meningitis can still have a big impact on their lives and cause these ongoing problems