Advice for inpatients
Inpatients are patients who stay at
the hospital for one or more night, whether for surgery,
ongoing treatment or following an emergency admission.
The information below and to the right provides a guide on what
to bring and what to expect when you come into hospital, as well as
practical information about our facilities.
What to do when you arrive
If you are coming in for a hospital stay, please go
directly to the ward on your admission letter, or visit main
reception at entrance 10 and ask for directions to your
Please report to the ward reception or office on
arrival, where you will be welcomed by a member of staff,
who will show you around and help you settle in. Please ask
the staff if you have any particular worries.
What to bring with you
- Your admission letter or card.
- Any letters from your GP, district nurse, physiotherapist or
other health worker.
- Bring all your medicines with you and give them to the nurse in
charge. It is important that your hospital doctor knows about any
medicines you are already taking. Please also bring special cards,
such as diabetic or steroid.
- Toiletries, night clothes, dressing gown, slippers and a
- Money for incidentals, refreshments, prescriptions, car
Please avoid bringing valuables or large amounts of cash with
you, as the hospital cannot accept responsibility for personal
belongings. You will have your own bedside locker for your personal
belongings but these are not lockable. If bringing
valuables is unavoidable we do have a safe to deposit items
and money in. However, this facility is not available at
About your hospital stay
Generally, you will be admitted to a ward that deals with your
particular condition. If by chance a bed on the preferred ward is
not available, we feel the priority is to get you into hospital
rather than cancel your admission. Visit our
A-Z of wards for more information about the ward you are
In some circumstances or emergencies you may be asked to move
beds or even wards. We do everything we can to avoid such
occurrences and assure you that your own care and best interests
would never be compromised.
Our wards are equipped to ensure that patients who
are admitted to our hospitals will only share the room where they
sleep with members of the same sex, and same-sex toilets and
bathrooms will be close to their bed area. Sharing with members of
the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary.
Read our declaration on
single sex accommodation for more information.
Staff will complete a hospital grab
sheet to provide our healthcare professionals with information
about you as an individual.
The main staff you will meet will during your hospital stay
will be doctors, nurses, therapists and portering staff who are
part of the team caring for you. All staff wear a picture
identification badge stating their name and their job. If they are
not wearing one don’t be embarrassed about asking them who they are
and check with a member of staff known to you. Other staff have
different colour uniforms indicating their job or, with nurses,
Do ask the doctors and nurses questions as you see
them or if you have things that are worrying you, ask to see them
to discuss your concerns. Write a list if it helps. Our
Health Information Centre can also
provide information about your condition or treatment.
Making your stay with us safer
We've prepared a short leaflet giving
information on simple ways you can make your stay with us safer.
You can also find the information in this brief film. You
can also view it on your bedside television - ask a member of ward
staff if you need any help.
Friends and family
Visiting times and restrictions on who can visit may vary
depending on the ward you are in. Click here
for advice on visiting patients.
We encourage family members to be part of the helping team if it
is what you wish. Some close family or friends may help in some
aspects of your care, as you may feel more comfortable with them.
This can range from help with meals, washing, dressing, walking or
more specific assistance, especially if this support will be given
from your family once at home. Hospital volunteers will be pleased
to visit patients who do not have regular visitors. Please ask
staff for advice about this.
Each ward or department has their own direct dial number or you
can telephone the main hospital switchboard and ask to be put
through. Click here for our A-Z of wards,
including contact details. It would be very helpful if you
could arrange for one member of your family to act as the main
contact person who will keep the rest of your friends and family
informed. Please let us know if there is anyone you do not wish to
You may be having an operation or treatment or investigation
that requires you to sign a consent form. Before signing, the
doctor will explain what is going to happen. Remember to ask
questions if you are not sure or do not understand
Whilst you are here, your hospital doctor will review any
medicines you have been taking. It is sometimes necessary for staff
to continue using your own medicines for you until our pharmacy has
dispensed a new supply. If any of your own medicines are
discontinued by the hospital doctor, our pharmacy is able to safely
dispose of them on your behalf.
Make sure you understand about the medicines you take home at
the end of your stay. If you are not clear, ask to speak to one of
If you are unsure about your medicines once you are at home, you
can call our pharmacy department. You'll need to tell them
your name, the ward you were on, the date you went home and have
the medicines with you when you call. The pharmacy
department contact telephone number is 01202 442127.
How long will I be in hospital?
You will have been given an indication of how long your stay is
likely to be. This may change as your treatment and care progress,
however, so please ask your nurse or doctor if they feel your
planned day for going home has, or is likely to change.
If drugs are needed, they will be ordered from our pharmacy for
you to take with you and any clinic appointments can usually be
made fairly quickly by phone or sent on to you afterwards.
Often the consultant in charge of your care will assess you when
he or she sees you on their regular ward round and will let you
know when you can go home.
If medicine is needed you will be given a two-week supply as a
minimum (sometimes less for antibiotics) for which there are
no prescription charges. If you need further medication please see
your GP. You may also be given a letter to take to your GP, and
your consultant will also write to your GP with information about
your hospital stay.
You may need a sick certificate for your time in hospital, so
please check with a member of staff.
Once you have been given an indication of when you will be going
home, you may wish to arrange for clothes to be brought in that are
comfortable to travel in. Please make sure that any hospital
property such as towels, library books are not accidentally taken
We, along with other local hospitals, the primary care
trust and local councils, have signed up to a set of quality
standards to ensure the safe, effective and timely transfer of
patients from hospital settings. You can read
these standards here.