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Your stay in hospital - nurse beside male patient in bed

We know that a stay in hospital can be a difficult and worrying time for patients and their relatives.

Whether your stay has been planned or whether it is unexpected, we hope the following information will help make your stay more comfortable.

Your stay in hospital - nurse beside male patient in bed

We know that a stay in hospital can be a difficult and worrying time for patients and their relatives.

Whether your stay has been planned or whether it is unexpected, we hope the following information will help make your stay more comfortable.

Arriving at hospital

In this section: Inpatient wards

Wristbands | Same sex accommodation | Do you have a learning disability? | Your bedside | What should I bring? | What if I have valuables with me? | Food and drink | Mobile phones | Wi-fi | Managing your medication

Inpatient wards


All patients admitted to an inpatient ward are given a wristband to wear for identification purposes. This wristband also contains a barcode that some of our medical equipment uses to upload individual patient details. 

Please let the staff know if you have any allergies so this can be updated with an allergy wristband in the hospital.

Other areas may also give you a wristband, for example, if you have a scan. Please do not remove these wristbands until you leave hospital.

Same sex accommodation

Basildon Hospital is compliant with single sex accommodation requirements, except when it is in the patient’s overall best interest, or reflects their personal choice.

You may be allocated to a bed in a bay with other patients of the same sex, or you may have a bed in a side room.

All wards have single sex shower facilities, or you can choose to have a wash by the bedside.


Do you have a learning disability or care for somebody with a learning disability?

If so, please contact David Landy, the nurse advisor for people with learning disabilities.

He can help with:

Preparing for coming into hospital Preparing for coming into hospital for your appointment, treatment or your stay in hospital.

Supporting you when you are in hospital

Supporting you when you are in hospital and helping plan for you to go home again.
Making sure you and your relatives and carers know what is happening

Making sure you, your relatives and carers know what is happening to you.

Making sure you have the information you need about any care, treatment and tests you may have in hospital.

You can contact him:

Tel: 01268 524900 ext 4957

E mail:

A hospital passport gives staff important information about you and your health.

hospital passport 



Your bedside

Within each bed area or sideroom there is a call buzzer should you need it, a small locker for storing your personal items, a table and a chair. There is limited space so please keep personal items to a minimum.

There is a TV by each bedside.

There is a charge for the television and telephone facility, which is paid in advance with the purchase of a television payment card. Some free viewing is offered 8am – 12 noon. Please note that the ward staff are not involved with the supply of TV cards. Any problems relating to the bedside TVs should be taken up with the dedicated television engineers. Their details are on the TV.

What should I bring?

We recommend that you bring a minimal amount of belongings with you, however it would be helpful to have the following items:

  • Nightwear – pyjamas or nightdress

  • Toiletries – such as deodorant, shower gel, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste, dentures and container. We have a small supply of razors, but gentlemen may wish to bring in their own razors and grooming products

  • Slippers

  • Dressing gown

  • Daytime clothes

  • Books, magazines, etc

  • Loose change

  • Drinks

  • Medication

All wards have a supply of wash towels and nightwear if required but we encourage you to use your own.

Denture pots are available, please ask ward staff if you need one. Please do not leave dentures in a tissue, on dinner trays or under pillows.

What if I have valuables with me?

Please do not bring valuable items or large sums of money to the hospital.  You will only need a limited amount of money to pay for small items such as newspapers and confectionary.

If you have something valuable with you which cannot be taken home by a relative or friend, please tell a member of ward staff. They will arrange to have this stored in a safe place for the duration of your stay.

Large amounts of money may be returned in the form of a cheque rather than cash on your discharge from hospital.

Food and drink

Mealtimes, eating and drinking are fundamental to your care. 

Wards provide fresh drinking water by the bedside in addition to the drinks below.


Your meals and drinks will be served to you at the following times (this may vary slightly from ward to ward).

  • 7am to 7.30am: morning drink served

  • 8.30am to 9am: breakfast and drink served

  • 10am to 10.30am: mid-morning drink served

  • 12.30pm to 1pm: lunch and drink served

  • 2.45pm to 3.15pm: mid-afternoon drink served

  • 6pm to 6.30pm: dinner and drink served

  • 7.45pm onwards: evening drink served (choice of hot milk drinks)

Menus will be available at your bedside daily to enable you to choose your meals. 

As part of our ‘Nutrition Mission’ we have designed our menus so that they are well balanced. If you have difficulty finding food you can eat, please ask a nurse to call the catering department and someone will visit you to discuss your needs. 

The lunch and dinner menu is also available in large print and pictorials. If you would like to see the menu in a different format please ask a member of staff.

You will be offered the facility to wash your hands or cleanse them with a hand wipe before eating your meals.

Relatives are welcome to bring in food for you to eat, but please be sure that these foods are permitted due to any dietary restrictions that you may have. Unfortunately there are no facilities to store or prepare food brought in from outside the premises.

Protected mealtimes

This is a period of time when routine activity on the ward is reduced so that nurses can serve and supervise meals and give assistance to patients who need help to eat and drink.

Mobile phones

There are some areas of the hospital where equipment is sensitive, and you may be asked to switch off your mobile phone.

To ensure the confidentiality of other patients, we ask you not to use the camera function on your mobile phone while inside the hospital.

You may see staff using smartphones in clinical areas. This is because there are applications which help staff to undertake their duties.  If you see a member of staff using a smart phone this does not mean they are using them inappropriately in work time.


There is a free wi-fi service available in the main restaurant and in some other public areas.

Managing your medication during your stay

It is important that you bring your current medicines, and an accurate medicines list, to hospital with you. This will help to avoid any delay in prescribing and supplying the medicines you need during your stay. 

Please tell the nurse or pharmacist that you have your own medications, and we will store them in a locked section of your bedside locker to keep them safe.

Pharmacy staff will regularly check this locker and count your tablets to ensure you have enough medicine for when you go home. They will also talk to you about how you manage your medicine at home.

A pharmacist is available to help you with your medicines. They visit the ward every day and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. For example, some people like to know:

  • what their medicine is for

  • how their medicine works

  • how long they need to take it

  • what side-effects it might cause

The pharmacist will supply any new medicines with directions on so that they are ready for you to take home. They will be able to answer any questions that you have about any new medicines you are given. 

If you have any concerns about how you will manage your medicines once you get home let a nurse or pharmacist know as soon as possible. This is so that you will be confident to manage your medication by the time you are discharged.

Information for visitors

In this section:

When can my family and friends visit? | Visitor access to the ward | Telephoning the ward | Facilities for visitors | Parking charges | Getting here by public transport

When can my family and friends come to visit?

Ward visiting times are 2.30pm – 8.30pm.

There is a quiet time 5pm – 6.30pm, when visitors are permitted, but please be aware that nursing staff will be providing mealtime assistance and completing drugs rounds during this time, so should only be approached if absolutely necessary.

Visitor access to the ward

Access to some wards is restricted, or may be restricted at certain times. If this is the case visitors will be asked to use the buzzer and intercom to gain access.

All members of staff have swipe cards to allow access. Staff will not hold the door open for visitors. This is not meant to cause offence.

Can my family telephone the ward for information?

To ensure patient confidentiality only basic information will be given out over the telephone. We ask that families nominate one person to call the ward for information, then convey any message to other family members.

Staff on the ward may set up a password with you to ensure they are sharing confidential information only with authorised family members.

So that our staff can provide uninterrupted care for patients, please do not call the ward 8am -11am, unless absolutely necessary.

Other facilities for visitors

  • Restaurant (main entrance)

  • League of Friends tea bar (outpatient department)

  • WRVS shop (main entrance)

  • WRVS shop (maternity unit)

  • Costa cafe (The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre)

  • Cash machine in main restaurant (no charge for withdrawals)


What are the parking charges?

Car parking charges at Basildon Hospital:

  • Up to 30 minutes free

  • 30 minutes to 2 hours £3

  • 2 hours to 3 hours £4

  • 3 hours to 5 hours £5

  • 5 hours to 6 hours £6

  • Over 6 hours £10

(Charges correct as at August 2016)

Concessionary car parking is available in some circumstances. Please ask ward staff for further details.

There are parking spaces designated for blue badge holders near to the Basildon Hospital entrances, and in the multi-storey car park. If you park in the multi-storey, please take your blue badge to the ticket office so that the attendant can arrange for you to exit free of charge.

Getting here by public transport

  • Bus
    A number of buses are available from Basildon Town Centre bus station to Basildon University Hospital.

  • Train
    London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central (operator C2C) go to Basildon station.

The hospital is a 15 minute walk from the station (uphill) or you can catch a bus from Basildon Town Centre bus station, (across the road from the rail station).

If you are using public transport, please use the Traveline website to plan your journey

Preventing infection

Preventing infection in hospital is everyone’s responsibility – staff, patients and visitors.

Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or clean them with hand wipes, immediately before you eat.  If you need hand wipes, please ask a member of staff.

Always wash your hands after using the toilet.  If you use a commode, ask for a bowl of water to wash your hands or use a sanitising wipe on your hands afterwards. Disposable hand wipes are available if required.

Ask your visitors to clean their hands with alcohol gel provided by the main entrance to ward areas.

Avoid touching wounds, drips, drains, catheters and other medical devices where possible.

Keep the top of your locker and bed table free from clutter.

Always wear something on your feet when walking around.  A comfortable pair of slippers with good grip is ideal.

Please do not sit on other patients’ beds and remind your visitors not to sit on your bed. Visitor chairs are provided in ward areas.

Please remind friends and relatives not to visit the hospital if they are unwell, have had flu-like symptoms or are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.

Please speak with a member of staff if anything concerns you or you are worried, for example:

  • lf a member of staff needs to examine you or perform a procedure, please ask if they have first washed their hands or used the hand sanitiser.

  • If you visit the bathroom or toilet and it doesn’t look clean, report this immediately to a member of staff.

  • The area around your bed should be cleaned regularly.

  • If you see that something is missed during cleaning, please report it to a member of staff.

Staff you might see during your stay


In this section:

Staff uniforms | Therapy services | Staff training

Staff uniforms

You will see staff in different uniforms during your stay. Here is a quick guide to who wears some of the uniforms you will see. 

 director of nursing Director of Nursing 
 head of nursing midwifery and therapies  Head of nursing, midwifery and Therapies
 matron  Matron
 ward senior sister, senior charge nurse  Ward senior sister, Senior charge nurse
sister, charge nurse, clinical nurse specialist Sister, Charge nurse, Clinical nurse specialist
staff nurse Staff nurse
theatre staff Theatre staff
assisting and support workers Assistants and support workers

Therapy services

Our therapy staff include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians and therapy assistants.

Facilities in the therapy department include three gyms, a hydrotherapy pool, individual treatment areas, as well as an assessment bathroom, bedroom and kitchen.


Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists assess and advise patients on daily living activities, to assist them to return home and be as independent as possible. Assessments can take place on hospital wards or in the department’s assessment kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. Some assessments are carried out in a patient’s own home.

occupational therapist

Occupational therapist


Physiotherapists assess and treat both inpatients and outpatients, to help them regain a normal level of function. Treatment may involve mobility and functional assessments, respiratory physiotherapy, physiotherapy classes, hydrotherapy and one-to-one sessions.







Dietitians assess and advise patients on their nutritional needs for their medical condition. They will assess nutritional status, estimate nutritional requirements and advise on appropriate nutrition. Our dietitians are also involved in training other staff on nutritional matters and nutritional screening.


Staff training

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a teaching trust which trains doctors, nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals.

You may see medical and nursing students on the wards and in clinical areas, and you may be asked for permission for them to help to give you care, perform an examination or tests.

This will always be under supervision, and you are under no obligation to agree. Your decision will not affect your care in any way.  If you have any concerns regarding student healthcare practitioners during your stay, please speak to a nurse.

Consent and tests

In this section:

Consenting to treatmentBlood tests and other specimens

Consenting to treatment

Before we carry out any treatment or surgery, the law states that we must ask your permission. You will need to sign a consent form.

The doctors looking after your care will discuss your treatment options with you. They will explain the treatment / surgery fully and highlight the potential risks and side effects.  You will be given the opportunity to ask questions.

You should only sign the consent form if you are happy that you completely understand what will happen.

If you have questions regarding your medical care and treatment please make sure you ask your clinician. Please ask about alternative treatments available that may be suitable or for a second opinion if you feel this is necessary.

There are occasions where a patient may not be able to consent for treatment themselves. In such circumstances the Trust will assess their ability to be involved in specific decisions and apply the principles of Best Interests as outlined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Relatives and loved ones will be involved in discussions.

Please let the clinical team know if the patient has an Advanced Directive or a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare in place as these are legal documents that may indicate the patient’s wishes.

Blood tests and other specimens

When planning your care, doctors, nurses or trained support staff might need to carry out tests on your blood or urine before treatment or care options can be decided.

It can take varying amounts of time for results to become available, depending on what test has been requested.  If you have any questions about your results, please speak to the doctor or the nurse looking after you.


Going home from hospital

In this section:

What you need to remember before going home | What happens on the day you go home | Medicines to take home | How to stay well when you get home

Once you are well enough then arrangements will be made for your discharge from hospital. Staff will have an estimated date of discharge for you.

Most people who are admitted to our hospitals will complete all their care and treatment with us and will then be discharged home.

If you might require social services to provide carer support at home then you will be assessed for this by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social services.  If you already receive social care, please make a member of staff aware as your care package will need to be re-started before you leave.

Some patients may be ready to leave hospital but may not be ready to return to their own home. For example, they may need more time to recover, they may need a care package or alterations to their own home or they may be waiting for a vacancy in a care home of their choice. In these cases, discharge to an appropriate, alternative care setting will be arranged.

We need to ensure that we have enough available beds in our hospital so that all acutely ill patients can be admitted and treated as quickly as possible. If there is any delay with your discharge arrangements, we will need to discuss interim arrangements with you as it will not be possible for you to remain in hospital while waiting.

What you need to remember before going home

  • Clothes to travel home in

  • Keys to get in at home

  • Who is going to collect me?

  • Do I understand what I have had done in hospital?

  • Is there any written information about my condition / surgery that I can take?

  • Do I need to have any time off work? If so can I have a medical certificate?

  • Do I understand my medication?

  • Do I need an outpatient appointment?  If so when will I receive this?

  • Are there any restrictions / changes to my lifestyle that I need to make?

  • Who do I contact if I’m worried about anything once I leave?

  • Have I got all my belongings with me? Remember to collect any cash and valuables you handed in for safe-keeping.


What happens on the day you go home?

When the ward staff have completed all the necessary paperwork you may be taken to our discharge lounge where you can wait for your medicines to take home and any transport requirements.

discharge lounge

The discharge lounge is located on Katherine Monk Ward on level A in the jubilee wing.

It is open:

  • Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm; 

  • Saturday, 10am-6pm (as required);

  • Sunday, 11am-5pm (as required)

The discharge lounge has separate areas for males and females. It can seat 12 people and also has two bed spaces in each area. Each area has a television and a selection of magazines. Refreshments are available.

Please try to make sure you have a set of your own clothes for the day you are discharged to maintain your privacy and dignity.

Family or friends should collect you, or we can arrange for a taxi to pick you up. Ambulance transport will be arranged if you have a clinical need.

Ambulance transport operates 11am-10pm. Patients will be collected from the discharge lounge with priority given to patients returning to care homes. A maximum of two bags and one walking frame per patient is allowed on the transport. If you have more please arrange for family or friends to collect these prior to discharge. Escorts are only allowed when absolutely necessary.

Medicines to take home

Your doctor will prescribe the medicines you need to take home. This will normally be enough for 14 days.

Often the medicines are already in your bedside locker, but sometimes pharmacy must dispense some more before you can leave. You may wait in the discharge lounge while this is organised.

Before you go home a nurse or a member of pharmacy staff will explain how to take your medicines. All packs will have directions on the label. You will also find a leaflet inside each pack with further written information about the medicine.

If you have any questions about your medicines, or if you have any concerns about managing your medicines at home, please let a nurse or a member of pharmacy staff know.

If you have any questions about your medicines once you get home please call the Pharmacy Medicines Helpline on 01268 593788.

It is open: Monday-Friday, 2pm-4pm.

Your GP will receive an electronic copy of your discharge information which you will also receive a copy of. You will be told if you need to see your GP when you leave hospital.

How to stay well when you get home

After any time spent in hospital there are risks of developing problems when you get home. We don’t want this to happen to you, so we have listed below certain signs and symptoms to look out for.

  • Possible signs / symptoms of wound infection
    Increased or sustained pain, redness or swelling, pus discharge, bad odour or the wound is not healing.

  • Possible signs / symptoms of blood clots in your leg
    - Pain or swelling in your leg
    - The skin of your leg feeling hot or discoloured
    - The veins near the surface of your leg appearing larger than normal

  • Possible signs / symptoms of sepsis  (reaction to an infection) 
    - A fever or high temperature over 38°C (100.4°F)
    - Chills
    - A fast heartbeat
    - Fast breathing
    - Confusion or disorientation

    In severe cases you may notice:
    - Dizziness when you stand up
    - Confusion or disorientation
    - Nausea and vomiting

If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your GP immediately.

What all of our patients can expect

what you can expect

In this section:

Personal consideration and respect | Confidentiality | Privacy, dignity and modesty | Equality and diversity | Chaplaincy | Safeguarding

People who use our services can expect high-quality, compassionate care. We want to make sure that the care you receive is private and dignified, no matter where your care takes place.

Personal consideration and respect

Patients have a right to:

  • Be treated as individuals

  • Be welcomed and offered assistance on arrival

  • Be listened to and have their views taken into account

  • Be treated courteously at all times

  • Know who is looking after them

  • Be cared for in a single-sex environment, never sharing a bay with patients of the opposite sex unless in an emergency

  • Have access to appropriately segregated toilet and washing facilities.

What patients can expect from us:

  • Staff will introduce themselves, giving their name and role, including during telephone conversations

  • Staff will always wear their identification badges

  • Staff will ask you how you wish to be addressed – eg, Mrs/Ms – and avoid over-familiarity unless this is acceptable to, and agreed by, you first

  • Staff working with children and young people should promote and protect their individual rights of where they receive care and treatment. This involves being cared for in a culturally sensitive environment; ensuring privacy and confidentiality during all episodes of care (RCN,2003)

  • Staff will deal with requests for assistance promptly

  • Staff will not have personal conversations with co-workers that exclude you (such as talking to a colleague about the rest of the day’s workload) while caring for you

  • Staff who are required to carry and respond promptly to a work mobile phone should do so with sensitivity – for example, ensuring the phone is switched off during meetings with you, your family or carer

  • Staff will knock before entering your room, or will wait for a reply from you before opening curtains

  • Staff will attach a ‘do not enter’ notice to curtains when you are being examined, and will use clips to secure curtains

  • You will be asked whether you have any objection to healthcare professionals not directly involved in your care being present at ward rounds or consultations

  • Staff will ensure that a patient who does not speak or understand English has access to interpretation services

  • Care workers in your home will act as a guest, ensuring entering the property and using the facilities are with your permission

  • When communicating with you, your relatives or carers, staff should always explain information in a way that you fully understand

  • If appropriate, staff should make use of advocacy services to support you.



  • All staff are bound by a legal duty of confidence to protect your personal information that they may come into contact with

  • All staff are obliged to keep your personal identifiable information safe and strictly confidential

  • Patient information is shared to enable care, with consent.


Privacy, dignity and modesty

Patients have a right to:

  • Be treated with dignity at all times

  • Have their modesty protected

  • Remain autonomous and independent wherever possible


Equality and diversity

Patients have a right to:

  • Have their gender, race, sexuality, disability, illness or age recognised and respected

  • Receive help to access our services or direction to the most appropriate services.

  • Have their spiritual and cultural needs recognised and respected



Trust Chaplains are here to offer a listening ear and personal support to all patients and relatives.

They can be contacted on 01268 524900 ext. 3503 for any non-urgent matters, and can be paged.

Let your ward staff know if you would like a visit while in hospital. You are welcome to invite your own faith or religious lead to visit you in hospital. Our own Chaplains can assist with this if required.



Do you have a concern about a vulnerable adult, young person or child?

Do you believe them, or yourself, to be at risk of harm?

You can talk to our safeguarding team for advice or information. Or you can tell us about a specific concern regarding the safety of another person.

  • Safeguarding Adults Team 01268 524900 ext 3089

  • Safeguarding Children Team 01268 524900 ext 4964

  • Safeguarding Midwifery Team 01268 524900 ext 8623

  • Domestic Abuse Safeguarding Service (DASP) 07880 036156

  • National domestic violence 0808 2000 247 helpline

We're listening ...

In this section:

Raising concerns | Giving feedback | Friends and Family Test | Mystery Shopper

Raising concerns

If you have concerns about your care or any aspect of your hospital stay then please speak firstly to the nurse in charge of your ward.

Every ward has a senior charge nurse/senior sister (ward manager) who will be happy to deal with your concerns.

Alternatively a matron can be contacted through the switchboard, or ask a member of ward staff to contact them on your behalf. 

After discussing a concern with the senior sister or matron, should you still have any concerns, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers help, support  and signposting to other services. The PALS office can be found near main reception, and can be reached on 01268 394440.

Giving feedback

If you have comments that you would like to make there are comment cards available on every ward.

Basildon Hospital has a dedicated feedback email address:

These emails are logged but not responded to. They help us identify where improvements can be made.

We would also encourage you to comment on excellent care delivered by teams and individuals as this will be fed back to them.

Friends and Family Test

The NHS wants to make sure that you have the best possible experience of care. The Friends and Family Test is a way of gathering your feedback about the experience of the care you have received, helping to drive improvement in hospital services. 

You should be asked to complete the Friends and Family Test question when you are preparing to be discharged.

You can also reply using our online survey forms

You don’t have to take part, but we would encourage you to do so.  The more information that we receive about your experience as a patient, the more likely we are to be able to provide you with the care and services you need. If you received excellent care, we would also be happy to know this so that our staff are aware they are doing a good job.


Mystery Shopper

The Trust has a mystery shopper scheme. 

A mystery shopper is a patient, carer or relative who gives us feedback on their experience during hospital attendances. 

The idea of the mystery shopper programme is to gain positive and negative feedback about all areas and departments within the hospital.  All of which we can use to promote good practice and improve our services.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in registering as a mystery shopper, please contact the Patient Experience Team on 01268 524900 ext 1415 or by email on:

Your valuable feedback will have a direct impact on the way our services are developed.


Useful links

safeguardingVisit our safeguarding page

healthwatchClick here for Your one-stop-shop for information about health and care services in your area.

Contact us

  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex  SS16 5NL
    Switchboard: 01268 524900

  • The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre
    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex SS16 5NL
    Switchboard: 01268 524900

How to find us

Click here for more information on how to get to our hospitals

We are a smoke-free Trust

Smoking is not allowed in any hospital building or grounds.

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Tell us what you think

If you have recently attended our hospital or accompanied or visited a patient, you can complete our Friends and Family Test survey here:

See our Friends and Family Test page

Friends and family test - tell us what you think



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