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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.

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 that are not handed over for safekeeping.  Personal items should be labelled where possible. See who's who on the wards.

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.

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 to 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 can expect to find the following:

  • The room where your bed is (a single room or 'bay' on the ward containing up to five 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 to a minimum.

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

Food and nutrition

When you are in hospital, food and drink are 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 are 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 7.30 am - 9 am
  • Lunch 12 noon - 1.15 pm
  • Supper 4.30 pm - 6 pm

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.

TV and Radio

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

Provided by WiFi SPARK, attached to the wall next to your hospital bed, you will find a maneuverable TV screen and telephone.  Patients and visitors can use this to access free and paid entertainment services.  

Free services 

  • TV from 6 am till 12 pm on free view channels. Children’s TV from 7 am till 9 pm on free view channels.  
  • A selection of free radio channels including hospital radio. 
  • Unlimited 2-minute calls from your bedside to 07 numbers.  
  • Unrestricted outbound calls to 01/02/03 numbers. (Please note that external calls to the bedside are charged at a higher rate than a local call.) 

Premium entertainment  

  • Movies
  • TV (past noon for adults and 9 pm for children)
  • Sports through SKY

There are varying fees for these services depending on the types of packages and how many days you are purchasing.  You can buy these services via your credit or debit card directly at the bedside, or by ringing our 24-hour call centre from your bedside phone.  To do so, simply pick up the phone, turn it around, and press the Green Operator button.  You can also use this service for support on the TV Bedside units.

A relative/friend can also buy one for you.  They can ring the call centre on 0345 414 1234 and provide them with the patient's name, date of birth, bedside location within the hospital, and the bedside telephone number (starting with 087 at the bottom of the screen).

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 for 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.

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Norovirus is highly infectious and can spread easily

Please do not visit our hospitals if you or a member of your household has had nausea, diarrhoea, or vomiting within the last 48 hours. This is to prevent the spread of norovirus in our hospitals.

See more information on norovirus.