Coronavirus information

Visitor restrictions, information for patients and more.

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Coming in for a hospital stay

It is a good idea to phone the hospital on the number on your appointment letter to make sure everything is ready for your arrival. It is also a good idea to phone the admissions office or ward for advice if you get a cough or cold and are not sure whether you should come in.

Bring your admission letter with you and if you have any questions or concerns write them down and bring them with you as well, to help remind you when you are in hospital.

Make sure you check your admissions letter for all the details you may need to know such as where to go when you arrive.

When you arrive at hospital to be admitted, go straight to your ward. You need not be alone, a relative or friend can come with you to the hospital and they can stay with you while you are admitted. We recommend that if you are a day patient and having any form of sedation that you arrange for someone to take you home.

We hope your stay with us will be as comfortable as possible and we will do everything we can to see that you have everything you need.

How to reduce the risk of catching or spreading an infection in hospital
  • Bring toiletries including soap and a clean flannel with you when you are admitted, or have a family member or visitor bring them in. Bring your own razor for shaving.
  • Keep your hands and body clean when you are in hospital. Wash your hands with soap and water and alcohol gel before you eat a meal. If you cannot get out of bed, ask a member of staff for help in cleaning your hands.
  • Make sure you always wash your hands after using the toilet. If you use a commode ask for a bowl of water to wash your hands afterwards. If you visit the bathroom or toilet and it does not look clean, report this immediately to the nurse in charge of the ward. Request it is cleaned before you use it, and use an alternative (if available) in the meantime.
  • Try to keep the top of your locker and bedside table free from clutter. Too many things left on top make it difficult for the cleaning staff to clean properly. Your bed-area should be cleaned regularly. If you or your visitors see something that has been missed during cleaning, report it to the nurse in charge and ask for it to be cleaned.
  • Always wear something on your feet when walking around in hospital. A comfortable pair of slippers is fine, but make sure they have some grip on the bottom, as hospital floors can be a little slippery sometimes.

Meals on the ward

It is important that you eat good food during your stay, which can give you the nutrients you need to get better. We endeavour to deliver high quality hospital food, and cater for a range of diets and individual tastes. The Trust has won a number of awards for its food and prides itself on offering tasty dishes from all countries and cultures. Please make sure you tell a member of staff on your ward if you have any particular dietary requirements. Remember to wash your hands before meals.

What to clothes to bring

Most patients will have been told what clothes to bring with them. Laundry facilities are not available for washing personal items. Some wards encourage patients to wear their own clothes during the day. At other times, patients may feel more comfortable in their nightwear. Find out from the ward what the procedure is for dealing with dirty washing, so you can replace clothes when necessary. If the patient is using a lot of clothing because they are soiling them on a regular basis, the ward may well have some hospital night clothes which can be used.

Rules on bringing your own food

There are no facilities for reheating food. If you do bring in food, try to make sure it is eaten while still fresh. For safety reasons it is not a good idea to store perishable food on the ward. Dry food such as fruit and biscuits can be stored in the locker by the bed, as can bottles of squash. If you are worried about how much or how little a patient is eating, raise your concerns with the named nurse or nurse in charge of the ward. Ethnic menus and special diets are available in the Hospital. Ask a member of staff if you would like to see what is on offer.

Things for the patient to do

As the patient begins to recover, you might like to bring things for them. e.g. books, magazines, audiotapes, any crafts they enjoy. Please do not bring anything that is expensive, irreplaceable or of sentimental value. If you bring battery operated items, make sure you bring plenty of batteries. All items must be well marked with the patient’s name so they are not lost. You will need a small amount of cash for the Hospedia machine and a daily newspaper or items from the trolley shop.

When you leave

Before you leave hospital, make sure you remember to take all your personal belongings with you and inform a member of staff of your leaving.

Staff will plan your departure for you to make sure you have everything you need before you go. You may need medication or details of further treatment while you are at home. Staff will tell you about follow up appointments, rehabilitation and support services that can help with problems you may have after leaving hospital.

Sometimes patients need help with health and social care after leaving hospital. A social worker will visit you if you have additional needs once you are back at home. Don’t forget to ask your nurse for any medical certificates you need and any valuables you handed in for storage before you go. We also recommend that if you are a day patient and having any form of sedation you arrange for someone to take you home.

There is some handy information about coming in for a Hospital stay, helpful services provided and what happens when your treatment has been completed at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in the Options Birmingham ebook:

Hospedia Phone System

To register with Hospedia’s new easy to use bedside system, all you need is your name and date of birth then follow the on-screen instructions. At home you can call the Hospedia customer care team on 0845 414 1234 (calls charged at national rate) and from the bedside simply pick up the phone and press the customer care team icon on the touch screen.

Hospedia phone bundles
  • Unlimited free outgoing calls to 01, 02 and 03 BT landlines.
  • Films and internet. The bundles range from 2 hours up to 30 days depending on the needs of the patient. Payment You can pay in cash by buying a card from any of the Hospedia vending machines or by asking one of the Hospedia advisors who are based on site. You can also pay by credit card at the bedside. Simply:
  • Press the pay button with your credit card icon on-screen and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Pick up the phone and press the customer care team icon on screen and they will be happy to help. Did you know? You can pre register and purchase credit before you come into hospital. To do this, call the customer care team on: 0845 414 1234. Visitors To buy credit for a patient from home dial: 0845 414 1234.
Find out more on the Hospedia Phone System or phone the customer care team on 0845 414 1234 (calls charged at national rate).

Thinking of going to Accident and Emergency but not sure if you need to? Try our handy symptom checker.

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