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During your hospital stay

When you arrive at the hospital
Please arrive at the time and area stated in your admission letter and hand it to the staff. Staff will confirm your details.
Everyone arriving at the ward (this includes you and anyone accompanying or visiting you) should use the hand hygiene gel available, before entering the ward. (See Section on Preventing and Controlling Infection and Hand Hygiene Gel).

When you arrive at the ward, a member of staff will introduce themselves and welcome you. They will, give you a personal identity bracelet which you should wear at all times during your stay. Please tell a member of staff if your details are wrong, they are faded or if the bracelet falls off.

They will show you the ward facilities and ask you a number of questions including the following:
• personal details, including family and carers, and who you want involved in making decisions about your care during your hospital stay.
• your past medical history, your current health and the reason for your admission.
• any medicines you are taking.
• any recent infections.
• information about you.
• any valuables you have brought in with you.
• any problems with your eyesight, speech, hearing or any other disabilities.
• any problems with your mobility - specialised equipment can be made available.
• any problems with swallowing or dietary requirements.

What if I need additional information, advice and support?
When you are in hospital the staff will do their best to help and support you.
It is hospital policy to give care that meets your physical, psychological, spiritual, cultural and social needs.
Here are some ways in which the hospital might meet your individual needs:
• providing an interpreting service for patients who do not speak English.
• providing a sign language interpreter for patients who are Deaf.
• offering food which meets your religious and cultural requirements.
• offering emotional and spiritual support from Healthcare Chaplains.
• help in arranging visits from your church or faith community.
• providing Quiet Rooms, Sanctuaries or Chapels for visitors and patients who want some peace.
• giving information about Social Work if needed.
• allowing a carer to support you at meal times or with other needs.
At any time during your stay in hospital you may ask for any of these services by speaking to the nursing staff.
Remember: staff are here to support you in every way possible.

Confidentiality of Health Information
Everyone working for the National Health Service (NHS) is under a legal duty to keep patient information, held in whatever form, confidential and secure. Staff must comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and The NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice.

Other Information
• If you or your relatives wish to discuss any aspect of your care or treatment with your doctor, please ask the nurse to arrange this.
• We will ask you for your consent for any treatment or surgery.
• If your relative or carer has power to make decisions about your welfare, including treatment, under the Adults with Incapacity Act please make sure the staff are aware of this (e.g. Power of Attorney, Intervention Order or Guardianship Order).
• You have a right to access your health records. The senior charge nurse will advise you of what to do.
• You have a right to a second opinion. If you feel this is necessary please ask the consultant in charge of your care.
• If you need a medical certificate you can get one from your nurse.

Student Teaching and Medical Research
An important part of our work is clinical teaching and training of students in medical, nursing and other professions. We will ask you if you wish to take part in student teaching or medical research. You have the right to say no and this will not affect your care.

Preventing and Controlling Infection and Hand Hygiene Gel
Preventing and controlling infection in hospitals is very important. To help stop the spread of infection we ask all patients, visitors and staff entering or leaving the ward to use the hand hygiene gel.
Apply this by squirting a little gel onto the hands, massaging it in like hand cream and allowing it to dry naturally. There are hand hygiene gel dispensers at the entrance and throughout the ward. If you do not see any, if they are empty or you are unsure please ask a member of staff.

Change of Ward
As part of your care, we may need to move you to another ward. On rare occasions, this may take place during the night. We will tell you, your relatives and carers about your change of ward.

Move to another hospital
As part of your care, we may need to move you to another hospital. On rare occasions, this may take place during the night. We will tell you, your relatives and carers.

Same Sex Accommodation
During your stay in hospital you will be in a single sex area, i.e. a bay or ward all of the same sex. However, there are some areas where this is not possible, for example, when admitted in an emergency to critical care areas. In these areas, we will use screens to separate each bed.

Courtesy to Staff
Abusive or violent behaviour will not be tolerated and the hospital will consider prosecuting any person whose behaviour is unacceptable.

Fire Safety
The fire alarm is tested once a week. If you discover smoke or a fire, please tell a member of staff immediately. In the event of a fire the nursing staff will tell you what to do.

No Smoking
The hospital operates a Smokefree Policy. This means no smoking in any NHS building, entrance, doorway, grounds or car park. This also includes the use of electronic cigarettes or the use of vaporisers. Trying to stop smoking is the most important step you can take for your health. If you are coming into hospital and would like to stop smoking while an in-patient, please speak to the nursing staff about the “In-patient Smoking Cessation Service”.

You can order your meal in one of two ways:
1. In some wards we will ask you to order your meal in advance. Your nurse will ask you to pick a meal choice from the menu.
2. In other wards, we will ask you to choose from a selection of meals available at mealtimes.
All wards have the same food available. For more information please see the booklet “Information about Food and Health in Hospitals” which is available in the ward. Halal, kosher and vegan meals are available on request.
Information on food allergens is available. Please ask a member of staff.

Protected Meal Times
We try to make sure that patients are not disturbed while having their meals and can eat their food at their own pace without any interruptions. We may ask visitors to leave the ward during meal times. However, if your relative or friend would like to help you during meal times, please discuss this with the ward staff.

Protected Drug Rounds
When you see a nurse with a purple apron or a sign saying ‘protected drug round’ this is to show other staff, patients and visitors that they are concentrating on giving out medicines and should not be interrupted. If you need help please use your buzzer and another member of staff will come to you.

Patient Laundry
There is no patient laundry service available in the hospital. Health Protection Scotland has produced a leaflet ‘Washing Clothes at Home; Information for people in hospital or care homes and their relatives’. Please ask your nurse for a copy.

Social Workers
Social Workers are available if required. They can give advice or information on a range of issues including:
• financial or benefit enquiries
• employment matters
• domestic arrangements
• Social Care Services available in the community
Ward staff can make a referral to Social Work.