When you visit the hospital, you will be either an:

  • Outpatient, with an appointment to see a consultant but does not need a bed
  • Day patient, who needs a bed for surgery or tests, but will not be staying overnight
  • Inpatient, who needs a bed and is staying overnight

What you will receive

If your hospital stay is planned, you should receive an admission letter with information like:

  • the time and date of your appointment
  • where to go on the day
  • whether you can eat or drink before your appointment
  • contact details of the relevant hospital department or ward

Arrangements while you are in hospital

To make your stay as comfortable as possible, you should think about what you need while you are in hospital.

As well as thinking about what you want to take with you, you should also think about arrangements you may need to make while you are in hospital. Here are some things you may need to think about:

  • Making sure your home is safe - turn off electrical appliances, turn off water at the mains and turn your central heating down/off
  • Securing your property - check that windows and doors are locked
  • Placing valuables and keys with people you trust like family, carers or close neighbours
  • Arranging for someone you trust to look after your property. They may collect your mail, water your plants, feed your fish or attend to other requirements
  • Cancelling any deliveries, like milk or newspapers
  • Arranging for pets to be looked after by someone you trust, or placed in kennels or catteries

If you have a relative, friend or carer, you may find it helpful to talk to them about what you need to do before, during or after your hospital stay.

Services you may use

Royal Mail Keepsafe service

The Royal Mail Keepsafe service will hold your mail for up to two months and deliver it to your home when you are out of hospital.

Royal Mail Keepsafe tells you how to set up the service online or by phone. You can also speak to your local post office.

The Cinnamon Trust

The Cinnamon Trust is a national charity that can look after your pet while you are in hospital if you are 60 or over, or are in the later stages of a terminal illness (palliative care).

The service is free but limited, as it is dependent on the availability and location of volunteers.

The Cinnamon Trust tells you about their work and how to contact them.

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