Main telephone number:
020 8401 3000

Inpatient Guide

For many people coming into hospital is a new experience and we will do everything to make sure you feel cared for, confident and safe during your stay.

If possible, arrange for a relative or friend to bring you to hospital, someone who can stay with you until you are settled on the ward and take away any clothes, property and valuables you will not need.

For planned procedure you maybe asked to go to Coulsdon 1 - Elective Admission Ward. If so read  Coulsdon 1 - Elective Admission Ward.

During your hospital stay we hope your care meets your expectations. Information about you will always be kept confidential. It may only be used by staff who need to see your records because they are directly involved in your treatment and care.

Every member of staff and our volunteers wear a Trust identity badge which displays our logo, their name, job title and photograph. Staff who are involved in your care will introduce themselves to you and they will ask you how you wish to be addressed whilst you are in hospital.

Please ask the doctor or nurse in charge if:

- You are in pain or discomfort at any time.

- You want to know anything about your condition or treatment. 

- You wish the ward staff to answer questions from relatives and carers about your treatment and progress. 

If your treatment involves an operation or certain other procedures you will be asked to sign a consent form. We will give you all the necessary details before we ask you to sign a consent form. It is your choice whether or not to give your permission for any treatment or operation. If at any time you are unsure about any part of your treatment or would like more information please ask to speak to your doctor or nurse.

Once you have given you have given your consent you have the right to withdraw it at any time.

You will find more information at your bedside during your stay.

Special requirements

If you are cared for at home by a relative, friend or carer, we would encourage them to talk to the nurses who are involved in your care as soon as you are admitted so that they can be made aware of any special requirements that you may have to help plan your safe discharge.

For more information see the Visitors and Carers guide on this page.


What to bring with you

You may need the following:

  • Night clothes, toiletries and personal towel
  • Books or magazine
  • Small amount of money
  • Notepaper, envelope, pens and stamps

Please bring any tablets or medicines that you are taking, in their original bottles or packets, and make sure that you tell the doctor, nurse or pharmacist about them.

Any Questions?

When you are on the ward you will find more information about the hospital both on noticeboards and in a folder beside your bed, but if you have any more questions please ask any member of staff on the ward. 

Hourly Nurse Round

Every hour, a nurse will come to your bedside and ask you how you are feeling. This is a good time to talk about any worries or concerns you may have and you can arrange to speak to either a senior nurse or doctor if you want to talk more about any aspect of your care.

Help for Non-English Speakers

We can arrange face to face interpreters for any patient who needs one. Please let a member of staff know if you wish to use this service so arrangements can be made.

Visiting Times

Most wards allow visiting between the hours of 2 and 5pm and again between 6pm and 8pm, but please ask the ward sister or charge nurse if you want visitors at other times and we will try to arrange it as long as it does not interfere with your care of the care of others in the ward.
All our wards offer a “protected mealtimes” system where disruptions and distractions during the main mealtimes are kept to a minimum to allow patients time to eat undisturbed. If you have visitors during mealtimes they will be asked to either help you with your meal if you need assistance, or leave the ward until the meal is over.

Food Services

A full and varied menu is available, including vegetarian and ethnic meals and you will be able to choose your meals from a menu card shortly before each meal is served. Please ask the ward host or hostess if you have any questions about what food can be provided, but if you have any special dietary needs e.g. gluten free, low potassium, or milk free it is helpful to let the Dietetic Department on (020) 8401 3096 let them know before you come to hospital so arrangements can be made.

For patients who are well enough to get dressed and leave the ward, a restaurant is situated on the first floor of the London Wing (blue zone) immediately at the top of the escalators. The restaurant serves meals, hot and cold drinks and snacks throughout the day, and is open from 7am – 8pm (weekends until 6pm). Appropriate clothing and footwear should be worn by everyone (no nightwear).

Personal Property and Mobile Phones

You are advised not to bring in valuable items such as jewellery and to keep only a small amount of money with you for your day to day needs such as buying newspapers. Please ask a member of your family to take home any valuables you have brought with you or inform your nurse on admission who will arrange safe keeping and give you a receipt.

Whilst the hospital has a very low record of recorded crime, the occasional theft does happen. The hospital cannot accept any responsibility for loss of valuable personal property or large sums of money that you decide to keep with you.

Mobile phones:

Mobile phones can be used in most areas of our hospitals. Please check with staff to see if you can use mobile phones in the ward or area you are in. We request that use be limited to avoid disturbing other patients.

Filming and photography

If patients or visitors wish to take photographs during their stay for any reason, please speak to the person in charge of the ward or department and make sure you have permission of everyone concerned.

For obvious reasons we restrict filming and photography on our children's ward - please ask the ward staff for advice.



Flowers are welcome on most of our wards as long as they are in oasis (foam) or any other small sealed arrangement. Small potted plants are also welcome.

No cut flowers in vases are allowed at the bedside as they could be spilled onto beds, patients, staff or medical equipment. There is also a very slight risk of infection from organisms which grow in water if it is left too long.

On a very few wards, for the safety and comfort of the patients, no flowers are allowed at all. This is because the bedside space is needed for equipment and staff access.These wards are:

  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Cardiac Care Unit
  • High Dependency Unit
  • Acute Medical Unit  (AMU)
  • Accident & Emergency (A&E)
  • Heathfield 2

Additionally, Heathfield 2 ward is where people with chest problems are treated and their condition may be made worse by pollen or other plant matter.

No Smoking

No smoking is allowed on the hospital premises and the sale of tobacco is not permitted in any of the shops in the main reception area. 
Alcohol, recreational drugs and tobacco products should not be brought into the hospital.

Spiritual and religious care

The chaplaincy team is made up of chaplains and volunteers of different faiths who visit the wards. They are here to:

• Support people of all faiths and none and offer pastoral care

• Support you in meeting any religious needs

• Contact your faith community on your behalf, if it is your wish

If you would like a visit during your hospital stay or further information please ask the nurse looking after you. Visits from representatives of all the major faith communities and Christian denominations can be arranged on request. In an emergency, a chaplain is available 24/7 through the hospital switchboard.

Prayer material, copies of the Holy Scriptures of different faiths, resources for meditation and devotional artefacts are all available for use while you are in hospital.

The Barnabas Worship Centre

The hospital chapel is open daily for peace and prayer and is used by people of all faiths and none. Holy Communion service is held each Sunday at 10am.

More information on spiritual care can be found here.



Google Translate