Getting ready for your stay
We know that preparing for a hospital stay can feel daunting but we’re here to make your stay as stress free as possible for you.
If you are coming in for an elective procedure or surgery the information on when you need to come in and where to go will be on your admission letter. Make sure to look at our hospital locations to give enough time for travelling in and to find where your ward is located.
If you have been admitted to hospital after coming into A&E then you’ll be given information by the medical team about the ward you are staying on and what to expect.
If you need an interpreter or signer and this hasn’t been arranged then please call the number on your admission letter to arrange this or ask a member of our team.
We will respect your privacy, dignity and cultural beliefs whilst you stay with us. If you have any special requirements then please let us know in advance by calling the number on your admission letter to talk about these, or asking the nurse in charge of your care.
Read our what to bring page to help you prepare for your stay with us and how you can store your belongings.
If you’re staying with us after an operation you’ll also have a pre-operation assessment appointment where you can ask questions about your stay with us whilst you’re recovering after surgery.
Preparing to go home after your stay
We know leaving hospital and taking the next steps in your care can be a worrying time. We’ll start these conversations with you early and involve your loved ones as well if you’d like us to. You’ll be given an expected date of discharge soon after being admitted so we can work towards this together, this may change but we’ll discuss this with you if that is the case.
If you have any worries at all please talk to your medical team who’ll be happy to help.
Keeping you informed
We’ll keep you fully informed about your recovery, your treatment and your condition.
Your medical team will talk you through all aspects of your plan and answer any questions you may have. They can also talk with your loved ones too and answer their questions. They’ll also be able to signpost you to any helpful organisations or support groups that may help your recovery and to manage your condition.
If you have any questions at all whilst you are staying with us please talk to the doctor or nurse in charge of your care.
Your time on the ward
Welcoming you to the ward
When you reach the ward you’ll be welcomed by a nurse or the ward clerk who’ll tell you about the ward and its daily routine. They’ll show you where the bathroom is, how to use the call bells in the bathroom and by your bed, and let you know where to store your belongings.
You’ll wear a hospital identity bracelet while you are in hospital and this will be red if you have any allergies.
Your ward will usually be one that is specialised to your condition or illness. If you’re on a ward for a different speciality you’ll still see your specialist medical team as they’ll visit you on that ward on their daily rounds.
The staff taking care of you
On the ward you’ll see many different members of staff. They will introduce themselves and their role but if you’re not sure who they are, please ask them to explain. All our staff should be wearing name badges and you can ask them to show it to you if you cannot see it.
The person in charge of your medical care is called the consultant. Along with other doctors who may visit you, the consultant will discuss your condition and offer you the best available treatment options.
You’ll have a nurse who is responsible for your nursing care on each shift. They’ll introduce themselves to you and will also have help from other nurses while caring for you.
Ward sister or charge nurse
The ward sister or charge nurse manages the whole ward. You can ask to see them if you have any queries or concerns.
Senior nurses, previously known as matrons, are in charge of a group of wards and can deal with a problem if the ward staff can’t. If you’d like to speak with the senior nurse, please ask the ward staff and they can arrange this for you.
Your ward housekeeper is in charge of making sure your ward is clean. If you have any worries about this, you can speak to the ward housekeeper.
You may also see other members of the ward team who will help deliver your care as well as other professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers and more.
We’d encourage you where you can to stay active in hospital. It can help your recovery and help you get back to normal. It can also reduce the risk of bed sores and falls, improve your appetite, sleep and mood, and help your blood flow.
Simple activities such as washing, dressing and walking to the bathroom all help. If you’re not sure what you can do, or would like some ideas on how to stay active in hospital then your nurse or doctor can help you.
Having visitors is important for your wellbeing and we encourage you to have visitors during your stay with us.
The visiting times and guide for visitors can be found in our information for visitors section or ask the ward team for information.
Eating well is important in your recovery and we’ll offer you a choice of food at mealtimes as well as snacks and drinks.
Take a look at our patient catering for more information on food and drink during your stay.
Free wifi is available in all our hospitals for patients and visitors. Just select NHS wifi from the list of available networks and follow the registration instructions. Ask the ward staff if you have any problems accessing the wifi.
Television, phone and radio
Each bedside TV has over 20 channels to choose from with radio and a personal phone which patients can use to make outgoing calls to friends and family.
Lots of the services are free but some may require payment.
If you’d like more information, please contact the Hospedia Customer Care Team on 0345 414 1234.
Smoke free trust
We are a smoke free trust which means patients, visitors and staff should not smoke anywhere on our grounds.
Please bring any nicotine replacement therapy treatments you are taking to hospital with you. If you’d like to give up smoking then talk to your medical team who can help arrange support for you.
Religious and spiritual care
We know that an admission into hospital can be a spiritually challenging time. Being away from home, family and all that you hold dear, along with concerns, fears and anxieties about your health can be difficult.
Our chaplains provide spiritual, pastoral and religious support. They’ll visit the wards regularly and have time to listen. They can also contact other faith leaders for you. If you’d like to arrange a visit then talk to your nurse or call our switchboard who can put you through to the chaplaincy office.
Keeping you safe from infection
We’re committed to keeping you as safe as possible. But however diligent we are, it’s never possible for any hospital to give a 100% guarantee that no patient will pick up an infection during their stay.
The most important measure all staff and visitors can take is to make sure their hands are clean before they see you. This means using alcohol hand wash to protect you from bugs they might be carrying.
Hand washing is important for you too. Make sure to wash your hands before you eat or drink, or after you have been to the toilet or used the commode.
Other ways you can help include
- keep the top of your bedside locker clear of clutter so it can be cleaned easily
- don’t bring in food that needs to be stored in a fridge
- do wear slippers or shoes if you are walking around the ward.
See our infection prevention and control page for more tips on keeping safe.