During your stay in hospital

The daily routine varies from ward to ward. When you arrive, you will be given more information about your ward. Do take this opportunity to ask any questions that you or your family might have about your stay.

With a few exceptions (beds in intensive care and high dependency) you will be nursed in a single sex bay and there are separate bathroom facilities for men and women.

Your name will be displayed on the ward's white board at the nurse's station. This is so we can see at a glance which bed you are in and which consultant is treating you. Using this board helps the ward staff assess how many beds are occupied and where patients are without having to interrupt other staff. If you do not want your name displayed please notify the nurse in charge of your care.

When you are admitted you will be given a wrist band. The wrist band will include all essential information about you that staff need. It is essential that you wear this throughout your stay; all patients, including babies and older people, must wear a wrist band. The wrist band ensures that staff can identify you correctly and give you the right care.

If your wrist band becomes uncomfortable or falls off, please tell a member of staff who will get you a new one. If you are not given a wrist band when you are admitted, please ask a member of staff for one.

If you have any special requirements

If you have any special requirements such as a disability, sight or hearing impairment, speech impairment or cultural requirements, please tell the nurse looking after you. Your nurse will make sure your nursing team is aware of your specific requirements and will record this in your notes.

The hospital has access to a translation service, British Sign Language, Deaf/Blind Manual, Visual Frame Signing and also has a Visual Impairment Assistance Service.

How will I be cared for?

During your time on the ward you will be looked after by a range of healthcare professionals, including among many: staff nurses, healthcare assistants, clinical nurse specialists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and dieticians depending on what treatment you require.

The ward manager (who wears the dark blue uniform) has 24 hour responsibility for the ward and manages the team of nurses who will be responsible for your daily care. Modern Matrons (who wear black and red uniforms) have also recently become part of the hospital team; they have the responsibility for making sure the ward and hospital environment are acceptable and the aims of your care meet your needs. Both the ward manager and the modern matron are happy to talk to you about any aspect of your care that you want to discuss.

Your treatment will be undertaken by a team of doctors under the direction of your consultant.

Addenbrooke's is a teaching hospital which means that nurses, doctors and other health workers carry out part of their training here and medical students may well be part of the team of doctors who are looking after you. During your stay you may be asked if you would be willing to take part in a teaching session attended by medical students. As a patient you play a very important part in the teaching work of the hospital, but if you feel that you do not want to take part in this, we will of course respect your wishes. Please let the doctor or the nurse in charge of your care know as soon as possible.

Will my treatment be explained to me?

Before you undergo any treatment one of the team caring for you will explain what is involved, the risks, benefits and alternatives and ask you to give your consent.

Sometimes you can just give verbal agreement. If the treatment or procedure is complex, has significant side-effects or complications or involves sedation or anaesthesia you will be asked to actually sign a consent form.

This is your opportunity to ask any questions you have about your treatment and discuss anything that may be worrying you.

Infection control

Please take note of the following important points:

  • It is essential to use the alcohol hand rub when entering or leaving a ward and please ask your visitors to do so too.
  • Always wash and dry your hands after visiting the toilet and before you eat.
  • Remind staff about hand washing if they forget (they may use alcohol hand rub nearby as this efficiently cleans hands as an alternative) - don't worry they won't be offended.
  • Do not touch or fiddle with your wound or any device that is in your arm/leg/bladder or other body cavity, for example a drip or catheter.
  • Infection control

What happens if I am concerned about my care?

If you or your relatives are unhappy with any aspect of your care or the service you receive while you are staying in the hospital please speak to a member of the ward staff as soon as possible. If you feel they cannot help you or you are not comfortable talking to them, please contact PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service). Very often problems can be sorted out straight away, so you can be reassured about any aspect of your care. Please ask ward staff for the PALS leaflet which will give you more detailed information.

We will also give you information about further complaints procedures. We hope that you will not have cause to complain about your treatment or care but if you do we want to know about it so that we can improve our services.

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