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. Whether you're visiting a relative or coming for an appointment, we hope you find everything you need in these pages. If you think we've missed anything please get in touch

What to bring with you if you're staying overnight

It may be useful to bring in the following items for your stay in hospital. If you were admitted as an emergency patient you may wish to 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
  • Any walking aids or splints/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). 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.
  • 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)
  • 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
  • You may like to consider bringing earplugs to help in getting to sleep as unfamiliar sounds and environments can disturb your sleep

Feeling unwell? Not sure where to go for help?

If you need medical advice or treatment but you're not sure whether you need to go to a GP, Minor Injuries Unit or A&E? Visit ASAP Glos for guidance.

Please note: if your child (age 16 or under) is unwell and needs urgent care, our specialist children's services are based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. There are no specialist children's services at Cheltenham General Hospital, except for between 8am - 8pm when children with minor illness and injury can be seen. All ambulances will take your child to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. 

Getting here

We provide clear, helpful information about our transport links and car parks. Read more

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.

If you're coming for an outpatient appointment

Don't forget to bring your appointment letter. This contains all the information you need for your appointment, including where to go, who you will be seeing and 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.

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 and Blue Spa and the Glass House at Cheltenham General Hospital. 

If you're a carer

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

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.

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