Staying in Hospital

We treat around 95,000 inpatients every year. Many of these are for planned operations but over 60,000 are admitted as emergencies, either after attending A&E or after a GP has referred a patient straight to one of our admissions units. This section provides some practical information for patients who stay on one of our wards.

Personal Items

We provide lockers by each bed for storing personal items.

Please bring the following:

  • Toiletries
  • Medicines/Tablets you are taking
  • Clothing
  • Glasses

Please do not bring the following items such as:

  • Valuables like jewellery
  • Large amounts of money
  • Hair styling appliances

If you need to have valuables with you, please ask your nurse or midwife to store it securely for you. You will then be given a receipt for any items you have handed in for safe keeping and asked to sign a form which explains our policy for personal property.

Our Trust cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage to items that were not handed in for safe keeping.


We ask patients to bring existing medicines into hospital with them. This is so that we see what medicines they are currently taking and ensure they do not miss any doses. It also gives doctors a chance to review their medicines and see if any changes are necessary.

Any new medicines will be issued to patients on the ward during drugs rounds.

Hospital Meals/Catering

During your stay on the ward you will be served three meals a day, and hot and cold drinks, as your condition allows.

We provide hot meal choices, which you can see by clicking the following link: and select the “Patient Menus and Allergen Information” tab.

Menu selection can be made either during the morning or the night before. If you have any special requirements, or can’t see anything on the menu that suits your requirements, please tell a member of our ward staff.

We also provide the following meal choices:

  • Halal and non-halal meat
  • Vegetarian
  • Kosher
  • Afro Caribbean
  • Chinese

If you are unable to feed yourself, our red tray scheme will ensure that you receive assistance straight away. If you need help to drink, you will be given a red beaker so that you receive the help you need.

Sometimes because of an operation, or as part of your treatment, you will not be allowed to eat or drink. Your nurse or midwife will explain this to you. If you do not need a meal, please write ‘nil by mouth’ at the top of your menu card.

If you miss a meal or are hungry outside mealtimes, a hot meal is available on request. Please ask ward staff if you would like one of these. Meals are served by ward service officers.

Supported Mealtimes

Between 12.30-1.30pm, and 5-6pm, patients are served lunch and dinner.

If you wish to support your loved one during mealtimes, please speak to the ward staff to arrange this.


Patients requiring diagnosis or treatment need to give their consent.

To help with this we provide written information that outlines the risks, benefits and alternatives of different treatment. Some patients are unable to give consent themselves due to their physical or mental difficulty and the patient’s next of kin may be able to consent on their behalf.


All our sites offer a free WiFi  to patients and visitors. Please log into NHS WiFi to access the service.
Bedside radio and television systems are also available for inpatients on some wards.

Photography Onsite

Taking photographs on our sites is not permitted. This is because we need to protect the privacy and dignity of other patients.

If you would like to take photographs in hospital, please contact the Communications Department on 0121 507 5303 or speak to the ward manager and we will do our best to make it possible for you.