Information for Inpatients

The information on this page will hopefully help you before you come into hospital, while you are in hospital, and before you go home. If you have been admitted as an emergency rather than on a planned basis, some of the information will not apply to you.  For more details about what happens on your ward, ask one of the nursing staff who will be caring for you.  In addition, please find below the Trust’s “Your Stay in Hospital” booklet which will be in or on the locker next to your bed on admission.  If it is not, please do ask a member of the ward staff for a copy.

Our aim is always to maintain very high standards, but if you think that we have not achieved our aim, as a patient or for your relatives or carers we would like to hear from you. We want to learn from your experience, so we can provide an even better service to all those who visit the Trust.

We hope that your stay in hospital with us is a comfortable one.


Cancelling your admission

If you are unable to attend your admission please call the number on your admission letter and let us know in advance so that we can allocate you a new appointment and offer your slot to another patient. If you cannot contact the ward directly please call the main hospital switchboard on 0191 565 6256.


What to bring

There is limited space on wards and we ask that you carefully consider what you will need when you are in hospital.  Please click here for a list of suggested items.  Please do not bring valuables, such as jewellery or large sums of money.  Although we do our best to ensure wards are secure, hospital buildings are open to members of the public and we cannot accept liability for lost or stolen property or money.


On arrival

Admission procedures sometimes vary between wards. It is therefore important to read your admission letter and follow the information given. Most wards will ask patients to telephone on the day of admission to make sure that a bed is available just in case the bed has been taken by an emergency patient.

When you arrive at the hospital, please go straight to your ward or check-in at the place indicated on your admission letter. If you are unsure, please ask at reception in the main concourse or reception at the Eye Infirmary. When you arrive on the ward, you should hand any medicines you have brought with you to the nurse who checks you in. If you have a Single Assessment Document or care plan, please remember to bring this with you.

A member of the ward staff will welcome you and show you where to go. A named nurse will be allocated to you and a doctor or nurse practitioner will take your medical history and examine you. A team of people will be involved in your care, for example, doctors, nurses, therapists and radiographers. In most cases, your consultant (a senior doctor) has overall responsibility for your medical care while you are in hospital. If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, then please ask one of the team of doctors, nurses or therapists caring for you.


Identity Bracelets

A nurse will give you a hospital identity bracelet with your name and details on it. Please wear this all of the time you are in hospital. It is an important part of our safety procedures such as checking you are given the right medications.


Use of mobile phones/cameras

It is very important that we respect the privacy of our patients and visitors therefore the taking or posting of photographs or comments about patients on social media websites (such as Facebook and Twitter), without their consent is strictly prohibited.  Please find additional information here relating to the use of mobile phones and cameras within the Trust’s premises.

Ward Teams

You will be given the name of the nurse who will be responsible for co-ordinating your nursing care during your stay. Other health care staff will also help with your care. At the start of every shift you can expect the nurse who will be looking after you to introduce her / himself, so you always know who to call. On the ward you will see many different members of staff. If you’re not sure who they are, please ask them to explain. All staff should wear a badge with a photograph, their name and their job title.


Visiting hours

We encourage visiting and the involvement of carers during a patient’s stay in hospital. Please remember that other patients may wish to rest or sleep during visiting hours so it is important that all visitors are considerate towards their needs.

There are also restrictions to visiting times. This is to allow patients to have enough rest, recovery time and privacy, to allow doctors and nurses to provide care and treatment to all patients at all times, to enable patients to eat meals without interruptions and to enable cleaning activities to take place in the wards.



Food StandardsMeals are served three times a day:

  • Breakfast: 8am
  • Lunch: Between 12:00pm and 1.00pm
  • Dinner: Between 5.00pm and 6.00pm

Breakfast and dinner include a choice of hot meals. Lunch is a choice of soup and a range of sandwiches. Drinks are served throughout the day, with meals and at other times.  You will be asked to choose your meals from a menu .  Vegetarian and ethnic meals, as well as therapeutic diets, are available. If you have special dietary requirements, please inform one of the nurses caring for you. Patients wishing to use the facilities in the Dining Room can do so but must be dressed in suitable clothing.

Light Bites are available at any time. Ward staff or the hostess will be happy to discuss your requirements with you, and offer advice on availability. The light bite menu appears on the main menu, and staff will do all they can to ensure you receive refreshments of your choice.

Light bites can be requested at meal times or at any other time as required by you, and other alternative dishes to those appearing on the main menu will be offered upon request.


Patient care rounds

Whilst on the ward our nursing staff will undertake patient care rounds.  This is where they will conduct checks on patients at set intervals to assess and manage their fundamental care needs and to ensure patient comfort. The rounds also help nursing teams to organise ward workload by ensuring all patients receive attention on a regular basis, which also helps in reducing pressure ulcers and falls while increasing patient satisfaction and comfort.

Patient care rounds capture all scheduled nursing care and provides a quality assurance framework for care.  It is important to understand that patient care rounds may differ on each ward and with each patient group who may have differing needs and require differing levels of intervention.

The key elements of patient care rounds:Carerounds



Bedside entertainment

All inpatients at the Sunderland Royal Hospital have access to TV / radio / telephone at the bedside (Hospedia bedside entertainment system). Charge cards can be purchased for all TV services, with the exception of the free 1 hour breakfast TV and the free service provided for children. There are some concessions for the elderly and patients who have been in hospital for a longer stay. Televisions will still be available in ward day rooms and all radio channels will be provided free of charge. Hospedia staff are available to explain to patients how to use the system. The Sunderland Eye Infirmary does not have Hospedia services but patients do have access to televisions, radios and telephones. Hospedia is an independent service contracted by City Hospitals. Members of staff are NOT responsible for the maintenance of this service, therefore any problems or queries should be raised directly with Hospedia on the numbers provided.



As far as its setting is concerned, you will find the chaplaincy suite includes a chapel (St Bede’s Chapel – available for anyone to use) and prayer room, with washing facilities. All of this, along with the chaplains offices, are opposite Main Reception in the Hylton Road block. The chapel is open for private prayer, or merely as a place to find some refuge in this busy hospital, until 10pm at night (and after that by contacting the Security Team also situated near reception).


During the week there are services held in the chapel area such as Roman Catholic Mass on Thursdays at noon; Holy Communion – Tuesdays at noon; and Moslem “Friday prayers” at 1 pm. Details of all the regular services can be found displayed in the chapel. Also, you will find there a pin board, and cards, which you are invited to use for prayer requests. There are also referral cards, which you can use to contact the chaplains (either leave your message at their office or at main reception).

In the course of a week, the chaplaincy team work throughout the hospital site and are pleased to visit anyone brought to their attention, or who require a sacramental ministry such as Holy Communion. Unfortunately the methods used for recording a person’s religion in hospital are not sensitive enough to alert the chaplaincy to a particular need and therefore we do ask that you bring anyone whom you know would appreciate a visit to our attention. (Telephone numbers: external 0191 5699180; internal extn. 49180. An answerphone service is available)



In our continuing efforts to enhance the hospital environment and improve safety conditions for all who use our facilities is only allowed in the smoking shelters within the grounds.  No smoking is allowed in any of the hospital buildings.



No alcohol is allowed on the wards or on hospital premises. Alcohol may interfere with your medical treatment. Please discuss this with your medical team if you have any concerns.


Discharge information

The staff looking after you will help you to plan for when it is time to go home, known as your discharge plan. They may need to ask you about the facilities you have at home and your home circumstances. For example, how many stairs you have to climb and whether or not you have relatives or friends who will be able to support you during your recovery. They will also ask you about any help or support which you currently receive from Social Services or community health professionals, such as District Nurses.

The aim is to make sure that all the services you need are in place before you leave hospital, including any extra help you may require as a result of your hospital stay. If your discharge is found to be more complex, this will be co-ordinated by one of our Discharge Teams to ensure that the appropriate arrangements are in place for a safe discharge. The length of time people need to stay in hospital varies. However the staff will give you some idea of how long your stay will be. In some wards the decision for discharge will be made by an experienced appropriately trained nurse rather than a doctor.

If you have asked staff to take any valuables for safekeeping, don’t forget to collect these from the Cashier’s Office when you leave. If you need a medical certificate for your employer or for state benefit purposes, please tell ward staff when you arrive or during your stay to avoid delaying your discharge.


The Discharge Lounge

You are expected to make your own transport arrangements unless you have a medical or physical problem making car travel impossible, in which case your nurse will arrange an ambulance. The ambulance service available for discharge is very limited. You will share the vehicle with other people and may wait in the Discharge Lounge for up to 8 hours. You will drop other people off on route and your journey home may take longer because of this.

If you are not leaving the hospital before 10am on the day of your discharge or transfer, you will be moved to the Discharge Lounge. This enables us to prepare the bed for the next patient who may be waiting on a trolley in Accident and Emergency, or who is coming from home for surgery that day. The Lounge is a comfortable and safe place to wait and is staffed by nurses. Relatives or carers coming to collect you can meet you in the Lounge or a nurse can escort you to the main reception area.


Sunderland Action For Health Website

We know coming to hospital can cause anxiety for many people, particularly those with learning disabilities.  Our  Acute Liaison Service for people with learning disabilities provides a range of specialist therapeutic interventions and support to people with a learning disability to ensure mainstream health services are accessible to people with a learning disability.  The Sunderland Action for Health website is a useful resource for people with learning disabilities and their carers to help them prepare for visiting the hospital.