Staying in hospital

We aim to provide the highest standards of care and hope that your stay will be as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

Professor Fong explains simple steps to keep safe during your stay at hospital.

If you have any questions during your stay please speak to a member of staff who will be happy to help.

On the day you are due to come in, please telephone us if you feel at all unwell, for example with a cough, cold or upset stomach. The telephone number to call is shown in your letter.

If you live alone, remember to cancel your newspapers and milk. You may also wish to take advice about the security of your home while you are in hospital.

What to bring

Toiletries such as: hairbrush, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste or denture cleaner, soap, face wash, shower gel, towels, deodorant, hand-wipes or tissues.

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes for day time, plus nightwear, underwear, slippers and a dressing gown.
  • All tablets, medicines and inhalers (in their original containers). We offer a self-medication scheme allowing you to take your own medicines while you are in hospital if appropriate. If your doctor has given you a completed drug history form, please bring this with you. If you have been prescribed nicotine replacement therapy, please bring this with you.
  • The names and addresses of your next of kin, together with day time and evening telephone numbers and the name of your GP.
  • List of questions or concerns you may want to talk about with your medical team.
  • Any aids, such as spectacles, loop system, continence aids, magnifying glass, walking frame, walking stick, wheelchair etc. Please ensure large items are labelled with your full name.

If you do bring essential valuables into hospital, please tell a member of staff. You will be asked to sign a form to indicate that you are happy to keep them with you and accept responsibility for their safe keeping. We can place essential valuables in the ward/hospital safe for safekeeping.

The Trust will not accept liability for loss of or damage to any article kept in your possession.

The ward safe

We will give you an official receipt for any valuables before they are placed into the ward safe. You will need to sign for them when they are given back to you. Any valuables placed into the ward safe will be taken to the hospital safe for safe storage after 24 hours.

The hospital safe

Any money placed in the hospital safe of a value of £100 or more will be returned by a Bankers Automated Clearing Service (BACs) payment into your bank account. This is to protect patients from fraud or bribery. Please tell a member of staff if you do not have a bank account.

If you are unwell and unable to take care of your valuables and property yourself during your stay in hospital

The ward staff will place any valuables you may have into the ward/hospital safe. An official receipt will be provided. Any valuables will be returned to you when you are better or to your nominated next of kin.

Same-sex wards

Throughout your stay, your privacy, dignity, religious and cultural beliefs will be respected. If you have any concerns please discuss them with a member of staff.

Wherever possible, you will be cared for in a same-sex bay - this means you will share facilities and space only with patients the same sex as you. However, areas where close observation is needed may be mixed-sex. If you are concerned about this please raise it with staff at any time.

Some single rooms are available. However, priority is given to patients whose condition requires that they be given preference. For instance, patients with an infection or approaching the end of life. Our bathrooms and toilets are designed to provide a range of facilities appropriate for your care, whilst offering the most privacy possible.

We endeavour to meet your physical, spiritual, social and psychological needs while you are in hospital. There may be times, due to your illness, that we are unable to completely fulfil these. If you have any concerns regarding any aspect of your wellbeing then please speak to the senior sister who will try and resolve any issues.


We understand that mealtimes are important. The 'protected mealtime' service is a period over lunch time when all non-urgent activity on the ward, including visiting, stops (all essential and urgent care needs will continue to be met).

This is done to prevent unnecessary interruptions to mealtimes and enable the healthcare team to be available to help serve food and give assistance to patients who require it. It also creates a more relaxed and calm atmosphere, giving patients time to socialise and enjoy their meal with fewer distractions on the ward.

If you normally visit at mealtimes in order to help or encourage your relative/close one to eat, we are happy for you to continue to do this. Please arrange this with the nurse in charge.


Smoking tobacco and cigarettes at any of our hospitals is not allowed.  This applies to all patients, visitors and staff.

Whilst you are here, please do not smoke anywhere inside or outside our hospital buildings. 

If you are a patient at UHDB and you would like support to stop smoking, please speak to your clinical team. We can also talk to you about the options for helping you if you need to stay in hospital.

Get free support to quit

Call the free Smokefree National Helpline to speak to a trained adviser:

Telephone0300 123 1044

All lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

You can also find all the information and free resources you need to help you quit on the NHS Smokefree website.

Get information to help you stop smoking (opens in new window) >

Preventing infections

We are committed to improving patient safety by reducing and preventing infections such as MRSA, C. diff (also known as Clostridioides difficile or C. difficile), and norovirus. You can help keep our hospitals clean and reduce the risk of spreading infection.

When not to come into hospital

Please do not visit the hospital (as a visitor or patient) if you are unwell with:

  • cold-like symptoms
  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • infectious diseases such as chickenpox, shingles, measles etc

Wash your hands

Cleaning your hands is the most effective way of preventing germs being passed from one person to another. Wash you hands with soap and water:

  • after visiting the toilet
  • before and after eating food
  • before and after visiting a patient

Alcohol gel dispensers are by most beds and at the entrances of all wards for staff, patients and visitors to use.

Report an issue

If you see an area that is need of cleaning, please report it to member of staff.

Keeping you safe

We are dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment. We do not tolerate anti-social behaviour, violence or discrimination of any kind and, if necessary, we will take appropriate action. You can help by treating all staff, patients and visitors with respect.

All staff employed by the Trust will carry a photo identification badge. If you are ever unsure who anyone is, please ask to see their badge.

Policies and documents:

Disability and language assistance

Disability assistance

If you have any special needs, please let your ward or clinic know before your visit.

It is important that we meet the needs of disabled people. If you have any comments that would help us improve the accessibility of our services, please let us know. Wheelchairs are available if required, but you are welcome to bring your own wheelchair, aids, or any other equipment that you need. Most reception areas have hearing loops.

If you are cared for by a relative or friend we would encourage your carer to talk to our staff about your particular needs. They may be able to explain about any special care you have at home that it would be helpful for our staff to know about. If you will need some extra help when you return home they can learn about this, if you wish.

Getting around the hospitals

There are a number of facilities that make it easier for people with disabilities or limited mobility to use our hospitals. Some of these services include:

  • Disabled parking spaces, close to entrances
  • 30 minute drop off bays
  • Wheelchairs at entrances
  • Hospital buggies

Language assistance

If you have difficulty in speaking, hearing or understanding English, please let us know as soon as possible so we can arrange confidential interpreting support for you. To discuss your interpreting needs, please contact the ward or clinic you will be attending.