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Your visit

Coming into hospital

Admission as an inpatient

On admission you will be given a wristband to wear while in hospital. Staff should check your wristband and ask you to confirm your identity.

What to bring

If you are staying in hospital you may also need the following:

  • day clothes as you may not need to wear your night clothes for your entire stay in hospital. Hospital wards are often kept warm, so bear this in mind when choosing clothes).
  • two nightdresses or pairs of pyjamas (depending on the length of your stay), a dressing gown and slippers
  • clean underwear
  • a small hand towel
  • toiletries, including soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner
  • things to occupy you, such as books, magazines or puzzle books
  • a small amount of money to buy things such as newspapers, phone calls and anything you may want from the hospital shop or ward trolley
  • a notebook and pen to write down any questions you have when the doctor is not available
  • if you wish, you can bring healthy snacks to eat between meals
  • your address book and important phone numbers, including your GP’s name, address and telephone number
  • proof that you do not have to pay prescription charges, if applicable (inpatients don't normally have to pay for the medication they are sent home with)

When you come into hospital it is very important to bring in any medicines or tablets you are taking as the doctor will need to see them.  We will continue to use your supply of medication while you are in hospital so please bring all medicines in the original containers.

Personal belongings

You will have a bedside locker for your personal belongings.

Please do not bring in large sums of money or valuables with you to hospital – you will only need a small amount of money, for example for newspapers and snacks.  We regret that the Trust cannot accept liability for lost items which are not handed over for safe keeping.  Personal items should be labelled where at all possible.

Identifying ward staff

All staff wear a hospital ID badge displaying their name and job title.  Most hospital staff wear a uniform.  All staff should introduce themselves and the purpose of their visit to you.  Please ask if you want to know more about a person's role.

Ward routines

When you arrive at the ward, you will find a booklet on your bedside locker describing the day-to-day routine of the ward along with further information about your hospital stay.

Not every ward is the same however most wards have a mixture of single rooms and bays.  Each bay has a toilet and washbasin, and every ward provides bath and shower facilities.  Each ward will have a slightly different routine, but we have listed some of the general points here.

Moving to a different ward

There may be occasions when you will be asked to move to another area of the hospital (or another hospital), either because your care needs have changed or you are almost ready for discharge.  We do try to keep this a minimum and the decision is made by the team of doctors and nurses.

The majority of patients who move wards continue to be under the care of the same consultant.  Nursing staff handover care to the new ward, ensuring that all information and belongings are transferred to the new ward.   

Privacy and dignity

The trust is compliant with the Government's requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is the patient's overall best interest, or reflects their personal choice.

We have the necessary facilities, resources and culture to ensure that patients who are admitted to our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same-sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area.

Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary (for example where patients need specialist equipment such as in our Intensive Care Unit) or when patients actively choose to share (for instance our Renal Dialysis Units).

If our care falls short of the required standard, we will report it and take action to prevent re-occurrence.  We have also developed an audit mechanism to make sure that our processes and our staff continue to comply with eliminating mixed sex accommodation. We will publish the results of that audit on our website.

Other than in the circumstances set out above, patients admitted to York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust can expect to find the following:

  • The room where your bed is (a single room or 'bay' on the ward containing up to 5 other beds) will only have patients of the same sex as you
  • Your toilet and bathroom will be just for your gender, and will be close to your bed area

It is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share your sleeping area. You may have to cross a ward corridor to reach your bathroom, but you will not have to walk through opposite-sex areas.

You may share some communal space, such as day rooms or dining rooms, and it is very likely that you will see both men and women patients as you move around the hospital (for example on your way to X-ray or the operating theatre).

It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors, visitors and other staff will come into your bed area.

If you need help to use the toilet or take a bath (e.g. you need a hoist or special bath) then you may be taken to a "unisex" bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff will be with you, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time. We will not turn patients away just because the "right-sex" bed is not immediately available.

Parcels and deliveries

For safety and security reasons, the main reception at York Hospital is unable to accept parcels arriving for patients and staff. If you are ordering from Amazon, there is a delivery locker available for use down the main corridor, towards the South Entrance. 

After you've added items to your basket, go to checkout and select “see nearby pick-up locations” and enter York Hospital as the pickup location. Select Amazon Hub Locker – Fedora and confirm you have access to the building. You will receive confirmation via email once this has been delivered.

Fire precautions

For safety reasons we test the fire-alarm systems regularly. If the alarm rings please follow the instructions of the ward staff


Every day a cleaner is allocated to the ward.  Litter bins are provided and there are recycling bins on each ward for newspapers and glass.  We strive to achieve high standards of cleanliness and our service is constantly monitored to ensure this.


Whilst there is always a certain amount of noise in the hospital our staff try their best to keep noise levels as low as possible.  Most people experience no problems and are able to sleep, but if you have any concerns, please discuss these with nursing staff. We ask patients to be considerate to others and keep noise for a minimum.

If you are having any trouble sleeping because of noise please let a member of ward staff know.  They can provide you with a sleep pack which includes a pair of ear plugs and an eye mask.

Food and nutrition

When you are in hospital food and drink is as vital as medicine and mealtimes are often the main focus of your day.  Patients who are well nourished recover quicker, are able to go home sooner, and more likely to stay well resulting in fewer hospital admissions.

Mealtimes may vary during your stay but they are usually served at the following times:

  • Breakfast 7.30am-9am
  • Lunch 12 noon-1.15pm
  • Supper 4.30pm-6pm

Our menu offers a range of dishes designed to meet different tastes and dietary needs.  We always offer a vegetarian option and vegan meals can be provided. If you need a special diet for religious or other reasons, we can provide this for you.

On the menu, there are symbols by each meal to show which foods are suitable for certain dietary requirements to assist you when choosing your meals.  Separate menus are available for people who may require a puree diet or a diet suitable for people with coeliac disease.

Hot drinks are served during the morning, afternoon and evening and after each meal.  Drinking water is provided throughout the day.

On our wards we provide supported mealtimes.  The aim of this is to make sure that patients can enjoy their meals undisturbed and to encourage patients to eat enough food to aid their recovery.  However, where it is in the best interest of the patient we do encourage family to stay and support patients during mealtimes.  If you have any questions or concerns about your dietary needs, or would like to comment on the food or mealtime service while in hospital, please speak to a member of ward staff.

If you require assistance with eating your meals please speak to your nurse who will arrange for assistance to be provided.

We have a dining companion volunteer scheme to support patients to eat and drink during mealtimes.

A trolley selling newspapers, magazines and confectionary visits the wards most days.


From 1 August 2020 the Trust is smoke-free. Patients, visitors and staff are not permitted to smoke anywhere on our hospital and community premises including the grounds and gardens.

Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable ill-health, such as cancer, heart attacks and stroke, killing about 80,000 people in England a year.

Going smoke free means a much safer and fresher environment for our patients, visitors and staff and brings significant benefits for the health and wellbeing of everyone in our hospitals and those using our services.

As part of the Trust’s smoke free pledge we offer nicotine replacement therapy to smokers who have to stay in hospital overnight, as well as signposting those who want to quit to local stop smoking cessation services.

If you would like support and advice to quit smoking visit our taking the first steps information page.

TV and Radio

Shared televisions are available in most ward areas in all of our hospitals.

At York Hospital, television, telephone and internet services are provided by an external company (Hospedia) and are available for a charge at your bedside on most wards.

Radio is free 24 hours a day with a choice of many stations.

York Hospital Radio provides a unique mix of music, news, sport and information for patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Patients are invited to contact the station for requests and dedications on freephone *800 or 01904 628800. 

The phone can be used to call family and friends whenever you choose. They can also contact you on your own personal bedside telephone number which is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Call costs are set by the provider.

Mobile phones, laptops and tablets

We encourage the widest possible use of mobile communication equipment; these may be used anywhere except where:

  • Signage is displayed to prohibit use
  • Staff ask you not to

The use of mobile communication equipment is controlled to ensure privacy and dignity. Mobile communication equipment often has other functions and it is the potential for inappropriate photos or videos that could risk compromising this and contravention of human rights and data protection legislation. Child protection, nuisance and health and safety conditions are also considered.  Picture and video recording is not permitted without appropriate consent.

Any time, we ask that you switch your phone to silent mode or use headphones with laptops/ipads out of respect to patients wishing to rest.  Please note you will not be able to charge your electrical appliances in hospital so will need to ensure other means of battery charging.

Care of your animals

If you have animals at home and have no-one to take care of them York organisation ‘Keep Your Pet’ may be able to help.

Keep Your Pet is a service run by Age UK York which can offer dog fostering, cat feeding, etc. while you are in hospital, and dog walking after you return home.  The service is free although donations are always welcome.

Leaving hospital

Arrangements for your discharge home will be discussed with you at an early stage to ensure these go smoothly.  If appropriate your relatives may be involved.  It may take a little time for staff to ensure that everything is in place, for example, to arrange medication or transport.  We will also plan with you and your family the help you need after you leave hospital.

Before discharge, please make sure that you have appropriate outdoor clothes and that you will be able to get into your home.

On the day you are to be discharged, you will receive a copy of your discharge summary to take home, and any medication.  You will be transferred to the discharge lounge, which is comfortable and convenient as it is located in the main entrance.  You can wait here to be picked up.  If you wish to order a taxi, there is a Freephone in the main entrance.  If you are entitled to hospital transport, this will be arranged by hospital staff.

Discharge medication

Once the doctor has prescribed your medication the pharmacy discharge team will review the prescription and identify what medication is required.  They will ask you if you have any medicines at home and check if you already have a supply in your locker.

Any new medication will be supplied, labelled with full instructions.  We will ensure you have at least two weeks supply of your medicine on discharge.

A range of common medicines for discharge are available on the wards but in some cases the prescription will be sent to pharmacy for additional items.

A nurse or member of the pharmacy team will discuss any changes to your medication and answer any questions that you may have.  The patient information leaflet provided with your medicines will provide further information.  If you require any additional help to manage your medicines such as large print labels or a reminder card please let the pharmacy team know.

Your GP will be informed of any changes to your medication and in most cases will prescribe further supplies.  Occasionally the hospital will continue to prescribe your medication and we will tell you if that is the case.

Two female receptionists on the phone at a desk smiling


Looking down a long bright hospital corridor with treatment rooms on the left and windows on the right. At the bottom of the corridor is one member of staff in a blue nursing uniform

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