Everything you need to know about coming to hospital, what to bring, where to go and how to get help.

Coming to hospital can be a daunting time and we want to make this as easy as possible for you and your family.

Getting here

Overnight stays

It may be useful to bring in the following items for your stay in hospital. If you were admitted as an emergency patient, you can ask a friend or relative to bring these items in for you:

  • loose, easy to remove night clothes and dressing gown (with your name on the label)
  • underwear
  • slippers (non slip soles)
  • soft drinks
  • shaving kit
  • towels
  • tissues and moist wipes
  • personal toiletries (soap, toothbrush, comb, hairbrush)
  • day clothes and shoes where appropriate
  • walking aids, splints or appliances you use
  • reading glasses
  • hearing aid and storage box
  • denture storage box
  • medication you are currently taking or recently stopped (in their original boxes)
  • contact names and numbers for 2 people such as relatives or close friends
  • reading and writing materials
  • radio earpieces and headphones
  • prescription exemption certificates (only if you are having a day case procedure)

Medications include creams, eye drops, inhalers and medicines you have bought including herbal remedies. Also bring your steroid card and Warfarin booklet if you are taking these. Please note that it may not be possible to use your dose box that you use at home.

You may like to consider bringing earplugs to help in getting to sleep as unfamiliar sounds and environments can disturb your sleep. Let us know of any equipment you use at home to help you as it may be that this can be also used in hospital.

Outpatient appointments

Please bring your appointment letter, as this contains all the information you need for your appointment, including:

  • where to go
  • who you will be seeing
  • whether you need to bring any medication or samples with you

Find out more about our outpatient appointments.

Maternity appointments

If you're coming to antenatal clinic or for a scan, please make sure you bring your notes with you.

Read more about your pregnancy and antenatal care or take a virtual tour of our maternity units.

Visiting times

If you're visiting someone in hospital, find out when you can visit.

If you have any questions or concerns about visiting please contact the relevant ward or unit for advice.

Food and drink

There is a wide range of food and drink options on our hospital sites, including our own hospital restaurants, Foster's at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Blue Spa and the Glass House at Cheltenham General Hospital. 

Information for carers

If you're a carer for a patient, you can find out how we can support you and access to useful leaflets and documents on our information for carers page.

You will also find specific information about patients with dementia and patients with learning disabilities on this page.

No smoking at our hospitals

Please be aware that smoking is not permitted in any of our hospital grounds. 

For advice on how to stop smoking, speak to your GP or contact the Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles service on 0800 122 3788.

If English is not your first language (translation and interpreting)

Interpreters: Please speak to the staff in the ward or department you are visiting when you arrive. They can arrange for an interpreter to help you. Alternatively please contact us for further advice.

Translation: You can translate health information on this website using an online translator. Although online translators can accurately translate individual words and phrases, they may not always be able to interpret the meaning of larger or more complex pieces of information.

If you have a visual or hearing impairment

To help us provide the best care and for our staff to understand your needs, if you are coming into hospital and you have a hearing or visual impairment please let us know as soon as possible.

If you are staying as a patient overnight, with your permission our staff could display an eye or ear pictogram by your bedside. This will help those who are caring for you understand your communication needs. 

British Sign Language interpreters can also be arranged to support you during your visit or stay.

In partnership with Gloucestershire Deaf Association (GDA) we launched Deaf Communication Cards in 2017. For more information or to obtain your card, please contact admin@gda.org.uk or call 01452 372999.

Find a phone number

If you need to contact someone in advance of your visit you might like to call a ward or unit, or one of our services.

You may also want to get in touch with one of our consultants or their secretary. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us.