Settling into your hospital ward

Patients and visitors

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Information about all wards

You will probably have lots of questions about your stay in hospital, this page provides general information about finding and settling into your ward.

For information about the specific ward you will be staying on please see the wards page.

Remember: our staff are here to look after you so do ask them for help and advice.

  • Arriving at hospital

    Your admission letter gives details of where to go when you arrive at the hospital. If you're not sure, please ask at the hospital's main reception.

    When you reach your ward, please hand any medicines to your nurse. The ward staff will keep a record of all the medicines you take during your stay. Tell us if you have any allergies or side effects to any medicines.

  • Welcome pack

    In response to patient comments, we have created a welcome pack to help make your stay as comfortable as possible and to involve you in your care. The person who welcomes you onto the ward will give you this.

    The welcome pack contains:

    • a dignity pack including ear plugs, an eye mask, hand wipes, toothpaste and a toothbrush
    • non-slip socks to reduce falls
    • a safety card (PDF 2.5Mb) to help make patients' hospital stay with us safe
    • a contact card so that patients and relatives can ask for help at any time
    • a notepad and pencil to make notes and write down questions
    • a welcome booklet (PDF 961Kb) that explains what to expect during your stay, the ward routine, who you may meet and what will happen on the day you are ready to leave hospital.

    Please ask us if there is anything you need to know, don't understand or need help with. Our staff are here to help you.

  • Identity bracelet

    We will give you a hospital identity bracelet with your name on it, which allows all staff to quickly identify you.

    If you have an allergy, we will also give you a red band to wear. These are for your safety, so please wear them at all times.

  • Your accommodation

    You will usually be staying on a ward that specialises in the care of the condition or illness you have. These wards are made up of separate bays, with four to six people in them.

    We will ensure that everyone in your bay is the same sex as you. There may be both male and female patients on the ward where you are staying. However, the toilets and bathrooms close to your bay are for people of your sex only, and you will not need to walk past patients of the opposite sex to reach your bathroom and toilet facilities.

    We have a limited number of side rooms that accommodate one person only. These rooms may be used for a number of reasons, for example to prevent infection spreading.

    If you need a test or treatment in another part of the hospital, we will make sure that you are appropriately dressed, and your privacy and dignity are maintained at all times.

    For more information see our same sex accommodation declaration (PDF 26Kb). 

  • Storage

    There is a cupboard beside your bed where you can store your personal belongings. We do not recommend using it for valuables as there is no lock.

    We ask patients to leave valuables at home wherever possible. If you have brought valuables with you, please ask a relative to take them home for you if possible. Please tell your nurse if you have any concerns.

  • Entertainment units

    There are entertainment units for your personal use, which have a telephone, TV and radio. Charges apply. 

    Your ward may also have a day room where you can watch TV or sit with your visitors.

    Please be considerate to other patients and wear headphones when watching TV or using other electronic devices, as the noise may disturb them.

  • Keeping in touch with friends and family

    Telephones

    You can use your bedside telephone for a fee. There are also card-operated payphones around the hospital. Your relatives and friends can call you at your bedside phone in most cases. However, please note that incoming calls are charged at a premium rate to the caller.

    Mobile phones

    • mobile phones should not be used in some areas as they might interfere with some medical equipment or disturb other patients

    • in the places where you can use them, please keep them on silent mode and be considerate to other patients.

    Post

    Your relatives or friends are welcome to write to you in hospital. Please ask them to address the letter or card with your full name and the name of your ward, followed by the hospital address (at the bottom of this page). Remember to tell them which hospital you are in.

    If you would like to send a letter yourself, hand this to your nurse who will post it for you. You will need to provide a stamp.

  • Meals

    Eating well helps you recover, so we want you to benefit as much as possible from the food you eat while in hospital. We make appetising, nourishing meals using fresh ingredients in our hospital kitchens.

    Find out more about meals and mealtimes.

  • Smoking

    You are not allowed to smoke anywhere on our grounds. Please see our no smoking policy for more information.

  • Sleep

    We want you to be able to rest and sleep as well as possible during your stay. Prepare for rest and sleep as you would normally do, and make sure you have anything you might need during the night close at hand.

    After 10pm, please keep noise to a minimum wherever possible. Put any mobile devices on silent and use the headphones provided to listen to the TV or radio. Please also dim the screens of any electronic devices.

    After 11pm, the main ward lights will be dimmed. If you need any help to go to the bathroom, please speak to a nurse. Please ask your nursing team if there is anything you need to help you sleep, such as pain relief, or extra blankets or pillows.

  • WiFi

    Free access to the internet is available for all our patients, visitors and staff. To connect to our wireless network:

    1. Go to WiFi settings and select WiFiSpark Hotspot
    2. Connect
    3. Enter your name and email address
    4. Read and accept the terms and conditions
    5. You will then be connected.

    Please note that some internet content will be blocked and WiFi should not be used for viewing TV programmes or making phone and video calls (including Facetime and Skype).

Which ward?

See our useful A-Z of wards to find information on the specific ward you will be staying on. 

Nurses preparing a bed