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Coming to hospital

Coming to hospital can be an unsettling time, both for yourself and your family, friends or carers.    

 
A member of staff smiling at Antelope House, adult mental health inpatient service in Southampton

We want to ensure that you feel as relaxed, reassured and comfortable as possible during your stay. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to talk to a member of our staff.  

Respecting your privacy and dignity 

In all of our inpatient facilities, men and women are cared for separately. This is to help respect your privacy and dignity. When you don’t have your own bathroom, you’ll also find a same-sex bathroom and toilet near to your ward or bedroom. Read our ‘privacy and dignity' page for more information.

If you’re admitted to one of our mental health services you will have your own room, and in most cases your own bathroom too.

When you arrive at one of our hospitals or inpatient services, you’ll be shown around your ward and introduced to staff. You will also be given an explanation of the routine on the ward, such as meal times and visiting hours.

We will always try to cater for your religious or cultural needs. Most of our inpatient facilities will have multi-faith rooms and access to the chaplaincy service.

Visiting someone in hospital

Your visitors are welcome to come and see you during your stay with one of our services. This includes our secure forensic mental health units.

Visiting hours will vary – when you’re admitted you’ll be advised what these hours are. Alternatively, you can contact our services directly to check visiting times using our service finder.

We normally ask that visits don’t co-incide with meal times or during group or individual activities.

We also ask that visitors who have been unwell don’t visit until they have been symptom-free for 48 hours. This helps reduce the risk of spreading infection.  

What to bring

Typically, some of the things you’ll be asked to bring with you for a stay in hospital include:

  • Your regular medication. This will be taken from you so we can store it securely and dispense to you during your stay

  • Nightwear and daywear

  • Shoes and/or sturdy slippers

  • Toiletries


Your service will advise you about what other items you should bring. If you're not sure, please ask a member of staff.

Don’t bring
  • Too many items – keeping your ward or room clutter free helps keep you and others safe from trips, falls and other hazards.

  • Your own bedding or quilts. For health and safety reasons we can’t normally allow this so please leave it at home.

  • Valuables – we can’t accept responsibility for loss or damage of valuables or personal items, so please try to leave valuable or sentimental items at home.


The staff on your ward or unit will be able to advise further as to what to bring and not bring during your stay.