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Staying in hospital

Preparing for a stay in hospital and letting you know about the facilities and services.

Most people need to stay in hospital at some point in their lives - usually for a short stay for surgery or monitoring or treatment.

On these pages you will find information that will help you prepare for a stay in hospital and let you know about some of the facilities and services we provide.

During your stay you will find that many people are involved in your care and recognising the different staff groups can be a bit of a problem at first. You can view our useful picture guide to the most common uniforms that you will come across here.

You will be under the care of a consultant whose name will be marked on or near your bed. Under his or her direction are a number of doctors, one of whom will be responsible for your day-to-day care and who will see you most days.

The ward sister or charge nurse (male equivalent) manages the team of nurses, student nurses, support carers and support assistants who will look after you during your stay. When you are admitted you will be cared for by a team of nurses who will plan and arrange your care.

Other staff that you may see include physiotherapists, radiographers, dietitians, occupational therapists, specialist nurses and pharmacists.

All staff wear name badges but do not hesitate to ask people to introduce themselves if you are unsure of who they are.

All the main wards in the hospitals are divided into single sex bays, with females accommodated in one bay and males in another. The exceptions to this are the Coronary Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit where the areas are mixed sex so we can carry out more effective monitoring. However, we work hard to ensure that male and female patients are treated in separate areas of the units here as well.

Bathroom and showering facilities are also split so that they are single sex. The trust has invested heavily in improving our accommodation and bathroom and shower facilities over the last year to provide the best privacy and dignity that we can for our patients.

Some wards operate a system where patients have named nurses who will be responsible for your care during their stay in hospital. It may be necessary for you to move from one ward to another at times. If this happens, you may have a new named nurse on the ward you move to.

You may wish to use this checklist as a guide:


Night clothes Slippers
Dressing gown Underwear



Hairbrush.comb Soap
Face flannel Towels (hand/bath)
Paper handkerchiefs or tissues Toothbrush and toothpaste/denture cleaner


Other items if you use the following:

Shaving Equipment Spectacles
Walking Stick Hearing Aid
Special Shoes Special disability aids
Pension Book (we can act on your behalf)


You might also want to bring in:

Fruit squash Writing material
Mineral water Postage stamps
Books Knitting

It is really important that you bring in all medicines that you may be taking or using, in the containers that they were supplied in. The hospital doctor and pharmacist need to look at your medication so that a prescription may be written whilst you are in hospital. Please tell us if you take your medicines differently from the directions on the label, or if you have been advised to temporarily stop taking any medicine or if the district nurse is giving you any injections.

Some patients may continue to take their own medication whilst in hospital. It is important to give all your medication to the nurse for safe storage on the ward. These will be returned to you before you are discharged.

As storage space is limited, we must ask you not to bring with you clothes that are not needed. We advise you not to bring in quantities of money or valuables. It would be helpful, following your admission, if your relatives could take home any monies or valuables.

Just keep a small amount to purchase items such as newspapers and change for the telephone. If for any reason your money or valuables must stay at the hospital, please inform the nurse in charge and arrangements will be made for it to be kept in the hospital safe. The trust cannot accept liability for money/valuables, which are not handed over for safekeeping.

Mobile telephones may interfere with some vital hospital equipment and can disturb other patients so must not be switched on inside the ward areas. They can be used in many of the public areas of the hospitals though.

You can also bring in gaming devices, tablets or laptops but please be aware that you cannot charge them from our sockets - all electrical items in use at the hospitals need to be tested for use. This is really important.

You can read our visiting and facilities page here to find out more on the shops, television and phone system and spiritual services we provide at the hospitals whilst you are staying.

The trust operates a no smoking policy. Smoking is not allowed anywhere within the buildings or grounds - that includes outside the entrances. If you are a patient coming into hospital you can request smoking cessation advice and support to help you quit smoking.

Please contact the ward staff for information. If you do wish to leave the ward and hospital site to smoke you must let the ward staff know who will advise if this is possible depending on your condition and treatment.