Your stay in hospital

Coming into hospital can be a worrying time and you probably have a few questions about your stay. We have provided some general information below and you can also find out more information in our patient information booklet.

Patient information booklet

Please remember if you are worried or have any questions then speak to our staff – they are here to help.

What do I need to bring with me?

When coming into hospital please bring the following with you:

  • Any prescription medication you are currently taking
  • Pyjamas or nightdress
  • Toiletries and shaving equipment, please do not bring talcum powder
  • Face cloth and towel
  • Shoes or slippers
  • Container for dentures and/or hearing aid (if required)
  • Dressing gown
  • Casual comfortable clothes
  • Your appointment card or letter
  • Your personal details, including your current address and telephone number
  • Your GP’s address and telephone number
  • If you are exempt from payment of prescriptions, please bring proof with you

Can I have visitors?

Yes. During your time in hospital, friends and loved ones are welcome to come and visit you on our wards. Each of our wards has different visiting times. You can find out the visiting times for the ward you are staying on by clicking on the name of the hospital below.

Mount Vernon Cancer Centre

Can I have visitors during mealtimes?

We try to make sure that while being cared for on our wards, patients have an opportunity to eat their meals without being interrupted – including by our own staff. Please ask your visitors to try to avoid coming during these times.

Lunch – 12.00 to 1.00pm
Dinner – 5.30 to 6.30pm

Can I be visited by a chaplain?

Yes, we have a very friendly chaplaincy team who offer a confidential and friendly ear to everyone. Find out more on our chaplaincy team pages.

Same-sex accommodation

Same-sex accommodation means only patients of the same sex (i.e. men or women) will sleep in the same bay or ward and use the same washing and toilet facilities.

The majority of our patients will always be in same sex accommodation. However, there will be occasions when it is not possible to care for patients in a same-sex environment. This is most likely to happen if a patient needs emergency or specialist care.  

You can find out more by visiting the same-sex accommodation page on our website. 

Medical students

We are a teaching hospital, with medical students from University College Medical School London and from Cambridge Medical School present in all our clinical areas.   As part of their on-going training, there may be medical students present during your consultation – please let our staff know if you would rather see the doctor alone.

Smoking, alcohol and drugs

Sorry, but it is NHS policy that smoking or drinking alcohol within our hospitals and grounds isn’t allowed. Any use of illegal drugs will be reported to the police.

Security – patients and our staff

We take your security very seriously. Some of our clinical areas- typically those for children, pregnant women/ new mothers and elderly care wards- have restricted access 24-hours a day.

While our staff are there to help, we expect them to be able to do so without being abused in any way. Where patients and/or their visitors become abusive, for whatever reason, then this is something that we will take very seriously. We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to abuse of our staff.

Duty of Candour

From 1st April 2013, a Duty of Candour has been placed on all NHS Trusts, as part of their standard contractual obligations, to ensure that their staff are open and honest with patients and/or family when something goes wrong.
The Duty specifies that if a patient suffers, or is suspected to have suffered, harm (moderate or severe*) or dies as a direct result of an incident that occurred within the Trust that the patient and/or their family are:

  • supported and provided with relevant information about the incident
  • offered a sincere apology
  • kept informed of investigations
  • offered a written explanation, such as the investigation report

The Trust has policies and procedures to comply with this duty and is committed to learn from such incidents by putting in place measures to prevent a re-occurrence.

* significant harm requiring a moderate increase in treatment or causing permanent harm (National Patient Safety Agency).

Useful Info

Got a concern?

If something is causing you concern, you have a question about your care or a general question, please speak to our staff. Please raise any issues or concerns as soon as possible, our staff are happy to help. If a ward sister is not available to speak with, then please ask to speak with the duty matron.

Our PALS (patient advice and liaison service) team are also a useful source of help.

A guide to staff uniforms

Depending on their role, our ward staff wear different uniforms. This guide helps you to understand who is who.

Wireless internet access

WiFi is available at the Lister. You will need to choose the network named Free Hospital WiFi. There is no password needed.

Nurse treating patient

Patients & Visitors