Preparing for your hospital stay

If you need to be in hospital overnight or for several days as an inpatient, arriving prepared can help us to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible.

Before your stay, you will have been contacted with information about what you can expect but below we’ll explain some of the things you might also want to think about beforehand.

Telling us about any medication you might be taking at the time of your visit including when you need to take it and the dosage, along with any allergies you may have is useful for the staff that will be looking after you during your stay.

Packing a hospital bag before your visit will mean you have everything you need during your stay. We’d advise that your hospital bag contains:

  • A nightdress or pyjamas
  • Comfortable day clothes
  • Clean underwear
  • Dentures
  • A dressing gown/house coat and slippers (please ensure that all footwear is sturdy with good grip to prevent falls).
  • Small hand towel
  • Toiletries – soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant
  • Personal items - sanitary towels or tampons
  • Razor and shaving materials
  • A comb or hairbrush
  • A book, magazines or Kindle
  • A small amount of money
  • Medicines you normally take, and a list of the doses for each medicine
  • Glasses or contact lenses with a case
  • A notebook and pen
  • Healthy snacks
  • Your mobile phone and charger or an address book with important phone numbers, including your GPs contact details.

Please also remember to bring your appointment letter with you.

Please try not to bring expensive items or large amounts of money into hospital with you. If you do need to keep valuables during your stay, there will be space next to your bed to store them. If you need to go down to surgery, your valuables will be handed over to a nurse for safekeeping. Wherever possible, you will be sent documentation prior to your stay which will detail the facilities available in hospital for the safekeeping of your valuables.

Please note all our sites operate a strict no smoking policy both within the hospitals and in the grounds. For smoking advice, support and treatments, please visit our smoking cessation service pages.

On arrival, please proceed to the appropriate ward/department where you will be met by nursing staff. There might be times when you may be admitted to a different ward to the one you were expecting or moved from one ward to another. This will not affect your treatment.

When you arrive at the ward, you may be asked to wait in a day room whilst a bed is allocated to you.

Our nurses will welcome you to the ward and help settle you in. They will ask you to confirm your personal details, such as your name and address, your GP and contact details for your next of kin.

Your doctor will also visit you before starting your treatment and explain your treatment to you.

If there is anything that you do not understand, or would like to discuss further, please ask your doctor or nurse. A translator can be available if required.

If you need to have surgery or an anaesthetic, your doctor will explain this too and you will be asked to sign a form to say that you agree to the procedure taking place.