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What happens when you stay in hospital

Patients and visitors

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When you arrive on the ward, a member of staff will welcome you and show you where to go.

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.

  • Who will look after me?

    A doctor will take your medical history and examine you. You will be introduced to your nurse.

    You will also be asked questions about your ethnic background, including your religious beliefs. You do not have to answer these questions, but the information will help us meet your needs.

    In most cases, your consultant (senior doctor) has overall responsibility for your medical care while you are in hospital.

    If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, please ask your consultant or nurse. All staff wear an identity badge with their name and job title so you know who they are.

    Each ward has a ward sister who wears a navy blue uniform. Groups of wards are supervised by clinical nurse managers (matrons) who wear a mauve uniform. Please do not hesitate to speak to them if you have a concern.

    If you are pregnant and your pregnancy remains normal, your care will be provided by a midwife. If you have special needs during your pregnancy, your midwife may refer you to an obstetrician.

    Find out more about your ward team here.

  • Will there be students around?

    Guy's and St Thomas' are teaching hospitals. This means that students, closely supervised by qualified staff, may be involved in your care. It does not affect the quality of your treatment in any way, but does provide valuable training for the students.

    If you do not want students to be present, please inform the doctor or the nurse in charge. Your wishes will always be respected and it will not affect your care in any way.

  • Research

    We are a major centre for health research involved in developing future treatments and care. You might be asked to take part in a study. The researcher will explain the study in detail to you, including its aims, why you would be suitable to take part and what it would involve.

    If you decide you want to take part, you'll be asked to sign a consent form. If you do not want to take part, it will not affect your treatment in any way.

  • Consenting to treatment

    We want to make sure you fully understand your condition and the options available to you.

    Before you receive any treatment the doctor will explain what he or she is recommending and will answer any questions you may have.

    No treatment will be carried out without your consent unless it is an emergency and you are unconscious.

  • Is my treatment confidential?

    Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to keep any information about you confidential. Your GP will be told of your progress unless you ask us not to do this.

    We have a legal duty to hold certain information about you. We use this information to care for you, and it will also be used to help us run and monitor the quality of our services.

    Apart from these purposes, no information about you will be used in a way that can identify you unless we have sought your permission.

    We may use some of the information about you for research or education, but only after we have removed any details which would make it possible to identify you.

  • Your health records

    Please see the health records page for more information or speak to a member of staff if you would like to see, or have copies of, your health records.

Staff nurse portrait