Hospital treatment

Going to hospital as a patient

Visiting hospital can be daunting, but your hospital should provide reassurance and give you all the information you need.

Once your appointment is booked, you should receive a letter that has details about where you should go and if you need to do anything before your appointment.

Many outpatient appointments are now held virtually, where appropriate. However, if a face-to-face appointment is required it will be booked at a convenient time for you.

Depending on your circumstances, you could be admitted as:

• an outpatient – for an appointment, but not stay overnight.
• a day patient – you'll be given a hospital bed for tests or surgery, but not stay overnight
• an inpatient – you'll stay in hospital for one night or more for tests, medical treatment or surgery.

Visiting friends or family members in hospital

Covid-19 means that rules about visiting people in hospital may change. Please contact the hospital ward if you aren’t sure about current procedures.

Barts Health Trust visitor information (for the Royal London Hospital and Mile End Hospital)

The Tower Hamlets Centre for Mental Health visitor information.

Mental health

Sometimes, if someone’s mental health deteriorates, they may need to go into a mental health inpatient ward.

Staying in hospital

If you need to stay overnight for tests, surgery or other treatment, it means you're being treated as an inpatient.

When you arrive, you will be welcomed by a member of staff, who will explain the processes to you and what to expect.

You can read more about how to prepare on the NHS website or visit the website of the hospital you are staying in to learn more about their facilities.

Leaving hospital

When you no longer require acute care, you will be discharged home or to a place suitable to your needs.

Your care team will involve your family and/or carers in your discharge plan. This will involve discussing how to manage your condition when you get home and what risks to watch out for. You will be given information about who to contact if you have any concerns when you get home. It may be best to contact your GP first.

You can speak with your nurse if you have any problems or need any further information.