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Your stay in hospital - before you leave home

Patients and visitors

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What to do before you leave home

This section of our website aims to make things as easy as possible for you. The information is aimed at adult inpatients. Most children coming to stay in hospital will be admitted to Evelina London Children's Hospital, based at St Thomas' Hospital.

Your admission date

You will have received a letter containing your admission date (the date planned for you to come into hospital) and details about where to go. If you are not sure when to come in or where to go, please telephone the contact number on your letter.

Please note: If you think you have been exposed to an infection such as chicken pox, or develop a cold, cough, diarrhoea or vomiting within three days of your admission date, please contact us immediately - you will find the telephone number on your admission letter.

  • If you cannot attend

    If you are unable to attend for any reason, please tell us as soon as possible so your appointment can be given to another patient. 

    You can change or cancel your appointment online or by calling the number on your letter.

    If you do not contact us, this will affect your position on our waiting list.

  • Confirming a bed is available 

    We'll do everything we can to make sure there's no change to your admission date. However, do not leave home until the admissions office has contacted you and confirmed a bed is available.

    If transport has been arranged to bring you to hospital, even if the transport arrives to collect you, please don't come in until the admissions office has confirmed that a bed is available.

Preparing for your stay

We aim to respect your privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs at all times. Telephone the number on the letter if you have any special needs, such as washing or praying facilities.

If you need an interpreter or signer and this was not booked when your admission date was arranged, phone 020 7188 8815 or see our language support page.

  • What to bring

    Check that you have packed:

    • your admission letter, and any other information we may have sent you
    • medicines or inhalers that you are taking at the moment
    • money in case you wish to buy a newspaper or use the bedside TV and phone
    • the name, address and postcode of your GP
    • proof of entitlement to free travel costs, if appropriate
    • nightclothes and a dressing gown
    • slippers
    • day clothes - a tracksuit or other comfortable clothes
    • glasses or contact lenses (if you have both, please bring glasses as well as contact lenses)
    • hearing aid
    • mobility aids you use, such as a walking stick or walking frame
    • a brush or comb
    • shaving equipment
    • a toothbrush and toothpaste
    • soap and shampoo
    • sanitary products, such as tampons
    • a towel and flannel
    • other toiletries
    • items of religious importance to you.

    You may also want to bring:

    • books and magazines
    • notepad and pens

    Please do not bring: 

    • jewellery or other valuables
    • large bags or suitcases as storage space is limited
    • alcohol.

    Phones and tablet computers

    You can bring your phone or tablet computer, and we do provide access to free WiFi. However, this is at your own risk – although we do our best to offer you privacy on the ward, hospitals are public buildings and we cannot accept liability for lost or stolen property. We also ask you to use such devices on the ward discreetly, so that you do not disturb other patients.

    Relatives and friends

    Remember to let your relatives and friends know that you are coming in to hospital and give them the hospital telephone number - 020 7188 7188.

    Don't forget to tell them whether you are coming to Guy's or St Thomas' hospital and which ward you will be staying in.

  • Your valuables

    Don't bring valuables, such as jewellery or large sums of money into hospital. Although we will do our best to offer you privacy on the ward, hospitals are public buildings and we cannot accept liability for lost or stolen property or money.

    If you must bring valuables with you, then they should be handed to a nurse when you arrive so we can arrange for safekeeping in the cashier's office. You will be asked to sign a receipt for your valuables.

    Your valuables will be returned to you when you are ready to leave hospital. If you have deposited £100 or more, the cashiers will need 24 hours notice to return the money to you. If you leave the hospital when the cashier's office is closed, you may not be able to collect your valuables on the same day.


Patient leaflets

Travelling to hospital

Don't forget to check which hospital you are due at before you set out.

Have your say

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