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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:

Helping patients to rest and sleep in hospital

Good quality rest and sleep play a crucial role in ensuring our patients are comfortable and able to recover more quickly during their stay with us.

Recent feedback from our patients and their carers has shown that those in our care have sometimes found it difficult to achieve good quality rest and sleep. Some disturbances have been preventable (for example noise from mobile phones and other electronic devices), whilst some have been essential to the delivery of the care they require.

Our Patient Experience Team is working with colleagues across the Trust to ensure that our wards are environments where sleep and rest are prioritised, and we have developed a number of resources for ward teams and patients to access to support this:

  • Patients can request a sleep kit from their ward team – these kits include a silky eye mask and ear plugs (please note: some patients may not be able to use these for safety reasons)
  • Patients can enjoy herbal (chamomile or peppermint), milky (hot chocolate or malted milk) and decaffeinated drinks (tea or coffee) if suitable. Patients should speak to their ward team if they have not been offered these
  • Patients can request puzzle books from their ward team
  • Patients can request extra blankets and pillows to make them more comfortable. Our colleagues will provide these where available

We have also produced a ‘Helping patients to rest and sleep’ charter and a list of ‘Rest and Sleep Aids’, both of which are available to our patients and colleagues. We are also in the process of implementing a protected sleep period between 23:00 to 06:00.

Olivia Edwards, Head of Patient Experience, said: “Achieving good rest and sleep whilst in hospital plays such an important part in our patients’ recovery and we’re committed to doing all we can to ensure our wards have the tools and guidance they need to proactively create an environment where rest and sleep is optimised. We welcome any ideas from former and current patients on how we can make future stays more restful and encourage any future patients to make the most of the support available to them.”

If you have any ideas to help us create a restful environment for our patients, please get in touch.

If you would like to share feedback on your experience of rest and sleep during a stay in one of our hospitals, you can do so online.

Last reviewed: 19 January 2024