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What to expect from an inpatient stay

We know that coming into hospital can be a difficult and an unsettling experience, so we’ll work closely with you and your family or carer to make sure this process is as stress-free as possible.    

You may be admitted to an inpatient service with your consent, or if you’re very unwell, you may be admitted under a section of the Mental Health Act.

When you stay in a hospital, our teams will work with you to help you with your recovery. Some of the ways we’ll help include:    

  • Prescription and management of your medication
  • An individual therapy programme
  • Monitoring your physical health
  • Education and advice about mental illness and wellbeing
  • Memory support for dementia patients (i.e. reminiscence work, quizzes, puzzles, games and relaxation)
  • Activities and groups (such as exercise, art and gardening groups to support your wellbeing)
  • Spiritual support should you want it
  • And support for your carer or loved ones.    

When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a member of staff who’ll take some basic details from you (your name, address, date of birth and details of your next of kin). A nurse and doctor will then see you and you’ll be asked about events leading up to your admission. This is a chance to share your views and for us to better understand how we can help meet your needs. You’ll also receive a standard physical examination so we can help monitor any physical health problems. 

We will take time to give you a full explanation of the care, treatment and medication you can expect to receive during your stay.  

During your stay, a member of staff will work with you to develop your care plan. We’ll have one-to-one time with you to discuss how you’re feeling and you can receive a range of therapies and treatments (such as talking therapies, occupational therapy and physiotherapy).  

Be sure to bring a sufficient supply of daywear, nightwear and slippers or shoes.

Also bring toiletries such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush and/or denture cleaner, shampoo, a hairbrush or comb and shaving equipment. We provide towels so you won’t need to bring these.

You may also wish to bring some small personal items, such as family photographs or small ornaments, to help you stay in touch with home life. However please avoid bringing valuables into hospital. Also remember your spectacles and hearing aids if you have them and perhaps consider bringing in any magazines or books you might enjoy.

We will discuss your discharge from the hospital at an early stage in your stay. This is because we are keen to help you get home as soon as you’re well enough and when you have the right support in place.

Before you’re discharged, we will meet with you to carefully plan the care you’ll need once you’re at home or, if you are an elderly patient with specific dementia needs, once a suitable nursing home is found. We will also advise your local Community Mental Health Team about your discharge and make contact with you shortly after you leave hospital to see how you are coping.

If you want to leave before we feel you are ready, and if you consented to your admission, a doctor will meet with you to assess whether it’s safe for you to go home. If we have concerns, then we have a duty of care to detain you until we feel you are safe. If we feel you’re safe enough to leave, but we still have concerns, we will ask you to fill in a ‘discharge against medical advice’ form. If you’ve been admitted under the Mental Health Act, you will be given information about your rights. You have a right to appeal if you disagree and it’s important that you tell us if you want to do this.

We will tell you about visiting hours and, throughout your stay, we hope that your family and friends will be involved in your care, but this is up to you. We’ll only disclose information to them with your consent (or in exceptional circumstances when your safety may be at risk).

Visiting hours and mealtimes will vary from ward to ward (visit each hospital page for specific information). On our dementia wards, ‘protected meal times’ mean that all ward based activities stop when meals are being taken, to emphasise their importance.  Please avoid visiting at these times.

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