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What to expect during an inpatient 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. You can also phone the admissions office or ward for advice if you get a cough or cold and are not sure whether you should come into the hospital.

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

Make sure you read your admissions letter carefully and follow any instructions such as where to go when you arrive.

When you arrive at hospital go straight to the ward to be admitted. On the ward you will be welcomed by a member of the nursing team who will take your details and show you around the ward. All wards have an individual routine and this will be explained to you. Please ask the nursing staff if you have any questions about your stay.

Nursing uniforms

See our nursing uniforms guide to help you identify who is who during your stay in hospital.

Reducing the risk of catching or spreading infection

  • Keep your hands and body clean: 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 cleaning your hands
  • 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
  • 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. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) 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.

Simple steps to keep you safe during your hospital stay

It’s understandable for people to feel anxious about coming to the hospital but keeping you safe is a priority for the staff looking after you.

There are also some simple things you can do to help keep yourself safe during your hospital stay, such as asking for help when needed, protecting yourself from slips and falls, and helping to prevent blood clots. 

See the 'Simple steps to keep you safe during your hospital stay' video and leaflet on the NHS England website, which provides some tips to help keep you safe at hospital:

Last reviewed: 12 September 2023