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Hospital stays

Preparing for a hospital stay

Download the easy English guide to hospital stays here

When you visit the hospital you will come under one of the following areas –

  • outpatient who has an appointment to see a consultant but does not need a bed
  • a day patient - someone who needs a bed for surgery or tests, but will not be staying overnight
  • an inpatient - someone who needs a bed and is staying overnight

If your hospital stay is planned, you should receive an admission letter containing information such as –

  • 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

As well as thinking about what you want to take with you for your stay in hospital, 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 -

  • make sure your home is safe – turn off electrical appliances, turn off water at the mains and turn your central heating down/off
  • secure your property – check that windows and doors are locked
  • valuables and keys should be placed with the people you trust like family, carers or close neighbors
  • arrange for someone you trust to look after you property such as collecting your mail , watering your plants, feeding your fish
  • cancel any deliveries, like milk or newspapers
  • if you have a pet, arrange for them to be looked after by someone close to you or arrange for them to be 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

To make your stay as comfortable as possible, you should think about what you need while you are in hospital. The Hull and East Yorkshire website has some advice and guidance for people going into hospital.

Advice for hospital stays 

Preparing for a hospital stay

The Royal Mail Keepsafe service

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

For more information on charges contact Royal Mail on 03457 777 888 or speak to your local Post Office.

Access the Royal Mail keepsafe service here

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).

This service is free but is limited as the service is dependent on the availability and location of volunteers.

Access the Cinnamon Trust here

Alternatively you can contact them on 01736 757 900.

Support while you are in hospital

If you are in hospital and require additional support during your stay, you may be referred to a hospital social worker. A social worker can support you, your family and carers with any practical or personal difficulties you may have. If you already have one who has been visiting you in your home, they will continue to visit you in the hospital.

If you have any mental health conditions, your healthcare teams should refer you to the liaison psychiatry service that will support your mental health needs.

If you need additional support due to a learning disability, you might be referred to the learning disability liaison nurse. A referral will depend on whether the healthcare team can meet your needs. If you are referred, the learning disability liaison nurse will offer additional support during your hospital stay.

The Butterfly Scheme support for people with dementia

The Butterfly Scheme allows people whose memory is permanently affected by dementia to make this clear to hospital staff and provides staff with a simple, practical strategy for meeting their needs. The patients receive more effective and appropriate care, reducing their stress levels and increasing their safety and well-being.

The Butterfly scheme should be offered by your healthcare team prior to your hospital stay. However, you can ask to opt into the scheme by telling the hospital staff, or asking for the Butterfly champion or Dementia lead.

Access the Butterfly scheme here

Lasting Power of Attorney

If you have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), then they will be responsible to ensure that your needs and wishes are being met while you are in hospital.

Go to managing Someone else’s affairs page

Advanced decision (living will)

An advance decision to refuse treatment lets your healthcare team know your wishes if you are not able to communicate with them.
You can find out more about an Advanced decision, how to set one up and what they are used for using the link provided

Find out more about Advanced decision (living will)

PALS department (compliments, comments, concerns or complaints)

If you have any compliments, comments, concerns or complaints while you or someone you care for are in hospital, contact the PALS department.

Make a compliment comments, concern or complaint here


Healthwatch Hull is your local health and social car champion.which aims to give people a powerful voice in Hull. At a local level, Healthwatch Hull works to help people get the best out of the city's health and social care services.

Whether it is improving them today or helping to shape them for tomorrow, Healthwatch is all about your local voice being able to influence the delivery and design of services.

Visit the Healthwatch Hull website here

Help with NHS Complaints here

Alternatively, you can contact Healthwatch Hull Via –

Leaving Hospital

Before you can be discharged from hospital, the healthcare team will need to complete an assessment to make sure you are ready to leave the hospital. For people who need additional support outside of hospital, you will receive a care plan which will outline your health and social care needs.

You will also be given a letter for you to give to your GP, providing information about your treatment and future care needs.

Visit the NHS choices - care and support guide.

Support from discharge

In order to provide you with a safe and swift discharge from hospital, your healthcare team may refer you to the Hospital Social Worker team. The Hospital Social Worker team will complete an assessment based on your needs. The team will then provide you with information, advice and support on the best actions to meet your needs.

If you feel that you require support when leaving hospital, you can also request an assessment. You can do this by making a request to your healthcare team who will make a referral on your behalf. 

If you are expecting to find your daily routines difficult at the early stages of your recovery then considering things like what equipment you are able to buy could be the way to make your recovery easier when you return home.

Go to the equipment and adaptations page

Transport to and from hospital

In Hull, there is various transport schemes to help you get to and from hospital if you are having difficulties –

British Red Cross Hull Transport service

British Red Cross Transport service helps people with –

  • getting to medical appointments
  • everyday essentials like shopping
  • support to get out of the house and socialise

They provide door-to-door transport for people who cannot get about easily, restoring their freedom and independence.

To find out more and arrange for the transport service, you can contact them by telephone on 01482 499 830.

Hospital 2 Home

This East Hull Service will pick passengers up from their door or convenient pick up point. It takes and returns passengers to Hull Royal Infirmary, Castle Hill or Princess Royal Hospital. The service is open to all.

To find out more and arrange for the transport service, you can contact them by telephone on 01482 719 604

You can also find more transport options here

Recovery and reablement

In order to help with your recovery there is a range of support available to you to help you get back to living your life.

If you have additional care and support needs following your stay in hospital, then the Active Recovery team will assess your needs. They will then organise a care and support package for you prior to you retuning home in order ensure you can recover safely.

Hull Churches Home from hospital

If you live in Hull, there is a service that can support your discharge from hospital, free for up to six weeks, depending on the nature and complexity of your recovery.

Hull Churches Home from Hospital (HCHfH) has been helping people since 1994. It was set up in order to help people to manage in their own homes following discharge from hospital. Their purpose is to help you get back on your feet and to feel confident enough to resume your usual activities.

Visit the Hull Churches Home from Hospital website here

Alternatively you can contact them by telephone on 01482 447 673

Connect Well Hull

During your recovery, you may want to start looking at things to do within the community. If this is the case, you can make an appointment with Connect Well Hull.

Connect Well Hull can help you access support and guidance on a range of issues. It provides links to community groups, services and activities that could help you make positive changes or just improve how you feel.

It can be particularly good to do these things to avoid feeling lonely and isolated during your recovery. They will take into account any support needs you may have and signpost you to services that can adapt to those needs.

Connect Well Hull is a friendly, free and confidential service run by Citizen’s Advice Hull and East Riding. If you are aged 16 or over and live in Hull, or are registered with a Hull GP, you can make an appointment with Wellbeing Co-ordinator or Welfare Adviser.

To find out more, visit the Connect Well website here

Alternatively, you can contact them via –

Last reviewed: 08/11/2017