Patients staying in hospital

A nurse smiling

Inpatients are patients who stay at the hospital for one or more nights, whether for surgery, ongoing treatment or following an emergency admission. As an inpatient we want to make your stay in hospital as comfortable as possible.

We know how important visits from loved ones are and are facilitating safe visiting in line with national guidance. Please visit our visiting guidance page for the latest information.

Before you arrive

If you are coming in for a planned stay or procedure, we will write to you with details of your admission. This letter will also contain any important information about what may be required ahead of your admission.

On the date of admission please call to ensure that we have a bed available on the number provided on your appointment letter.

What to do when you arrive

Our wards are signposted from the map located near M&S on the front hall. Our reception team will also be happy to direct you. 

When you arrive on the ward one of the receptionists or nurses will admit you to the ward.

What to bring

Essential Items

  • Mobile phone/ tablet/ laptop and charger.
  • Wash Items.
  • Nightwear two - three sets.
  • Day clothes - two - three sets.
  • One pair of slippers or shoes well fitting.
  • Medication.
  • Dentures.
  • Glasses.
  • Hearing aids.
  • Small personal item or photo.

Non-Essential Items – these will not be accepted

  • Food (of any kind – including fruit).
  • Drinks.
  • Sweets or Chocolates.
  • Cash.
  • Soft items such as pillows/blankets.

There is only a small locker space for personal property, so please bear this in mind when packing. Please try to mark all your belongings do not bring any valuables or large sums of money with you.

You are responsible for all of your property, including dentures and hearing aids, during your stay with us. 

The hospital cannot accept liability for any loss or damage to property.

Your stay with us

Your accommodation

You will normally stay on a ward that specialises in the care of the condition or illness you have. These wards are made up of separate bays with six people in them. We are committed to ensuring the privacy and dignity of all our patients when in our care so we will ensure that everyone in your bay is the same sex as you. We have a limited number of side rooms on each ward that accommodate one person only. These rooms can be used for a number of reasons, for example to prevent infection spreading.

There are a few places in the hospital where your care may be delivered in an environment that has mixed sex accommodation, such as intensive care or the coronary care unit. In these areas staff will do everything possible to ensure your privacy and dignity are respected and you will be moved to single sex accommodation as soon as it is safe for you to do so.

All wards have female, male and accessible toilet and bathroom facilities. If you need to go for a test or treatment in another part of the hospital, we will make sure that you are appropriately dressed and that your privacy and dignity are maintained at all times.

Sometimes it is necessary to change the ward that you are on. This could be because your care needs have changed or because there is a more appropriate ward for us to continue caring for you on. If this happens the staff looking after you will explain any changes, what to expect and how you and when you will be moved.

Your identity bracelet

We will give you a hospital identity bracelet with your name on it. If you have an allergy we will also give you a red band to wear. These are for your safety, so please be sure to wear them at all times.

Storing your personal belongings

You’ll find a cupboard beside your bed where you can store your personal belongings.

We do however, recommend that you leave any valuables at home. The bedside cupboards don't have locks on them so if you have brought valuables with you, please ask a friend or relative to take them home for you if possible.

Your medicines

Please give any medicines that you have brought with you to your nurse who will tell you where and how they will be stored.

If you need to change wards we’ll move your medicines with you. If you would like to continue to administer your own medicines while you are in hospital, please discuss this with your nurse.

It’s really important that you tell your doctor and the ward pharmacist about any medicines that you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines. We also need to know about any herbal or alternative remedies that you are taking.

Please let us know if you are allergic to any medications.

The team looking after you

During your stay with us you will be cared for by a range of experienced healthcare professionals and other staff. They all wear name badges and will introduce themselves to you. 

Your care is managed by a team from a number of different disciplines who work together to ensure that all aspects of your care are considered. They will discuss your treatment with you in clear language and involve you in decisions about your care. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to a member of the nursing team or one of the doctors during ward rounds.

Many of our staff work in shifts, so they take great care in handing over details about your care and progress to the person taking over from them.

A guide to our uniforms


Female: Navy blue tunic and navy trousers or navy blue dress.

Male: Navy blue tunic and navy trousers.


Senior Sister

Royal blue tunic and navy trousers or dress, navy blue belt.


Senior Charge Nurse

White tunic with navy epaulettes. Grey trousers.


Junior Sister

Royal blue tunic and trousers or royal blue dress. Red belt.


Junior Charge Nurse

White tunic with red epaulettes. Grey trousers.


Staff Nurse

Female: Pale blue tunic and navy trousers or pale blue dress. Blue belt.

Male: White tunic with pale blue epaulettes. Grey trousers.


Health Care Assistant

Female: Grey tunic with navy trousers. Grey dress.

Male: Grey trousers with grey tunics.


Clinical Nurse Specialists / Research nurses when clinically working

Lilac tunic. Black trousers.



Female: Lilac and white striped dresses or tunics with dark coloured trousers

Male: White tunics with the Housekeeping logo written just above their left chest.

How to keep active during your stay

One of the myths about being a patient in hospital is that you must stay in bed. In fact, keeping as active as possible during your hospital stay is better for you.

Staying in bed and not moving for long periods can affect your breathing, muscle tone and digestion, and may cause skin to become sore.

Even small activities such as walking to the toilet, washing, getting dressed, brushing your teeth and sitting up for meals can make a difference to your recovery and keep you healthy.

Your ward team will always advise you on what is safe for you to do while you are with us.

To encourage you to keep active while in hospital, staff on our frailty wards – Eashing, Hindhead and Elstead and at Milford Hospital – have joined a global campaign called End PJ Paralysis. This campaign focuses on some simple steps to help keep you moving. These include where possible:

  • getting dressed independently in your own clothes every day. Our staff are always here to help if you need assistance getting dressed. Please ask relatives to bring in comfortable, loose fitting clothing that are easy to put on;
  • doing simple everyday activities such as shaving, brushing your own hair and teeth;
  • walking to the toilet rather than relying on a commode or bottle, if possible;
  • sitting out for meals;
  • trying gentle exercises during the day even if you are in bed (we can show you how);
  • taking short walks around the ward either by yourself or with help;
  • getting out of bed to sit in a chair. We can help you.

Useful links

AgeUK and the NHS websites have some gentle exercises you can try at home or in hospital. Use the links below to find out more.

Giving consent

You may be having an operation or treatment or investigation that requires you to sign a consent form.

Before signing, the doctor will explain what is going to happen.

Remember to ask questions if you are not sure or do not understand.

Leaving hospital

Ahead of your discharge

We will work with you to plan your discharge soon after your admission. We will ask you about your home environment and any care or support you currently receive.

If additional care is needed this will be arranged with your input.

We will give you an Estimated Discharge Date (EDD) as soon as possible.

You will only be discharged when you are medically well enough to leave hospital and it is safe for you to do so. This may mean that your Estimated Discharge Date is revised during your stay.

On the day of discharge

On the day you leave, your ward team will make sure you are given the relevant information and any equipment you require.

Your doctors will write a Discharge Summary for you and your GP. This gives details about the reason for your hospital stay, the treatment you received and any changes to your ongoing care or prescription.

Your doctors will also write your prescription (if needed) and send it to the pharmacy to be prepared.

We aim to transfer you to the Patient Lounge on the morning of your discharge, unless it is unsafe to do so.

This is a safe place where you can wait until your Discharge Summary and prescriptions are ready. Sometimes there may be some delays, but we will work very hard to keep these to a minimum.

In the Patient Lounge, you will be cared for by qualified nurses and you will have access to refreshments, TV and radio.

How loved ones and friends can help

If you share a household or are a carer, close friend or relative of someone in hospital you can help by:

  • Staying in contact with the hospital ward the patient is on, so that everyone is clear about the expected date of discharge and understanding their ongoing medical needs.
  • Supporting with any necessary arrangements to provide suitable clothing, shoes and house keys (if required).
  •  Helping with their transport home. If you can take a relative, friend or neighbour home when they are ready to leave hospital then it helps them to get home more quickly and it helps the NHS too.