Information for Inpatients 

Your stay in hospital

Medical information

The Doctors and Nurses in charge of your ward will be ready to discuss your treatment and progress with you. If you are worried, or in pain or discomfort, please let them know. If you wish, they will keep relatives informed about your progress. However, your medical information is strictly confidential and will not be passed on to anyone except your family Doctor without your permission. You are entitled to see what is contained in your Health Records. The Nurse in Charge will explain the procedure to be followed if you wish to see your Health Records.

Consent to treatment

If you are to have an operation or examination the Doctor will explain to you what will be done, and why it is necessary. If you do not fully understand please ask for further information. You may be asked to read and sign a consent form which means you agree to the treatment being carried out. Again, you should ask that this is fully explained to you. Consent of parents or a guardian is needed for people under 16 years old.

Helping the staff to learn more

Staff in training, such as nurses, medical students and therapists, can best learn their jobs by assisting and watching trained staff at work. You may be asked if you are willing to take part in a teaching session but you do not have to do so. A student's status and reason for his/her presence will be explained to you and if you have any queries or do not wish to have a student present during an examination or treatment, please let the Nurse in Charge, the Doctor or Senior Therapist know. Your wishes will be respected and this will not affect the standard of your care in any way.

Patient information

We ask you for information about yourself so you can receive the appropriate care and treatment. This information is retained as it may be needed if we need to see you again.

You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS and, so that we can work together, it may be necessary to share some of the information.We only ever use or pass on information to people who have a genuine need for it in your and everyone's interest. Whenever possible, we shall remove details which identify you.

The sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law.

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.

The main reasons for which your information may be needed are:

      Providing healthcare and treatment

      Looking after the health of the general public

      Managing and planning the NHS

      Review of care and measuring standards

      Training and educating staff


If at any time you would like to know more about how we use the information you can speak to the person in charge of your care.

NB: In accordance with the Data Protection Act and Access to Health

Records all patients have the right of access to their records.

Moving about during your stay

While you are in hospital you may need to be moved from one ward to another, or to another bay as your treatment progresses. Ward staff will let your relatives know if you are going to be moved.

Medical certificates

Please ask the Nurse in Charge for self-certification forms for the first seven days of your stay. If you are in hospital for a long time you will be given medical certificates at fortnightly intervals. When you are discharged from hospital any further certificates will be issued by your own Doctor.

Fire precautions

The hospital is protected by a modern fire detection system and all staff have been trained to deal with fire situations. If there is a fire during your stay, please follow instructions given to you by ward staff. Instructions are posted in every ward.

Health promotion

The West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust is a Health Promoting Trust which is committed to making people more aware of health issues, and can provide information on a wide range of topics as well as your current condition.

The aim of Health Promotion is to provide you with the information to help you to improve and maintain your health and therefore enjoy your life to the full.

If you wish to find out more about such topics as coronary heart disease, cold sores, breast examination, smoking, skin cancer or any other subject, please ask the staff on your ward who will be happy to obtain such information for you or your family.



When you come into hospital
How to get there
Visiting arrangements
Visiting hours
Finding your ward
Your stay in hospital
Hospital services
Your suggestions and complaints
Going home

Other Information

Patients' Library
Nutrition and Dietetic Service
The Chaplaincy
Radio West Suffolk
Friends of the Hospital
Voluntary Services


West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust

Last Modified: April 2003