When you come into hospital
You will have received an administration letter which lets you know the date and the time you should come to the hospital for your treatment. It will tell you which ward you will be on, and the Consultant who is responsible for your care. The letter also asks you to telephone the ward before leaving home to confirm that a bed is still available for you, as sometimes we may have to postpone your admission at short notice due to an emergency admission. We will do all we can to make sure this does not happen.
What to bring with you
Medicines or tablets you are taking now (these must be given to the Ward Sister when you arrive, do not continue taking them unless asked to do so)
Admission letter and letter from your own Doctor
Soap, face flannel and sponge
Two pairs of pyjamas or two nightdresses
Shaving equipment (electric or safety razors)
Small change for the telephone, newspapers, etc.
Glasses, if you wear them
You may also like to bring
Towels (these are provided, but you may want to use your own)
Radio or portable television, if fitted with earplugs (at the discretion of the Nurse in Charge of the ward)
Unfortunately there is not much room on the wards to store clothes or suitcases. You are advised to bring only a few light clothes because of the limited storage space.
Patients are advised to remove jewellery such as rings, bracelets, earrings etc. before admission. Operative procedures require these items to be removed. They are therefore at greater risk of damage or loss. If for whatever reason you are unable to leave jewellery at home please inform the nursing staff on your arrival.
If you receive any sort of pension, allowance or benefit paid to you by the DSS, you should let your local DSS office know when you go into hospital. Please read the instruction pages inside your order book for more details. Because most benefits are adjustable while you are in hospital, you will also need to let the DSS know when you are discharged. There is a sub-branch of the National Westminster Bank in the main entrance area of the hospital. It is open to patients and staff from 12.30pm until 3.00pm Monday - Friday.
We know that coming into hospital can cause many problems at home and at work, so we have a team of social workers ready to help you if needed. The Social Services department in the hospital is part of Suffolk County Council's Social Services team. You can write to the department or telephone it on 713400 before you come into hospital. Alternatively, you can ask the Ward Sister to arrange for a social worker to come and see you on the ward.
A national initiative has highlighted issues related to vulnerable adults who might be in need of care and unable to protect themselves from harm occasioned by the actions or inaction of other people. Any person who has knowledge of, or suspicion that a vulnerable adult may be suffering harm, or is at risk of significant harm should refer their concern to social services.
Please do not bring large sums of cash or valuable items into hospital if it can be avoided. If you have to bring these in, please hand them to the Nurse in Charge of the ward when you arrive. The details will be written on a property sheet (with a copy for you), and the valuables will be put in the hospital safe. Any cash you want deposited will be banked by the Patient Affairs Officer (PAO), who keeps a record of the amount in a personal patient's account on your behalf. When you go home the money will be returned to you in cash (if under £50) or by a cheque, which will be posted to your home address.
If you need to take money from your hospital account, or if you want your valuables, the PAO will bring what you need to the ward during normal office hours. The PAO can also cash your allowance books, and pay bills for you out of your hospital account if you have no-one to deal with your financial affairs while you are in hospital. Unfortunately the hospital cannot be responsible for the loss or damage of any property you have not handed in for safe keeping.
No smoking policy
The West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to providing a healthier, smoke-free environment for patients, visitors and staff. Your recovery will be helped if you stop smoking before and while you are in hospital. We hope you will take this opportunity to give up.
Smoking is strictly prohibited, either in the hospital or externally within the boundaries of the hospital.
Smoking cessation nurses are available to support and advise you if you wish to stop smoking. The ward sister will contact them if you ask.
If you have difficulty in speaking or understanding English, staff can contact Language Line on your behalf. This is a free telephone service which is able to provide an interpreter in more than 140 languages.