During your stay
What to expect during your stay, ward facilities, visiting policy, and how to raise concerns while you’re a patient.
When you’re admitted to a ward, you can expect everyone to introduce themselves as we are active supporters of the national #hellomynameis campaign.
Co-founded by Dr Kate Granger MBE, the campaign aims to encourage healthcare staff to introduce themselves to patients and visitors when they arrive on our wards.
Smoking is not allowed in any hospital building, or within the grounds of any of the Gloucestershire Hospitals sites.
Information and support is available to any patients who want to quit smoking, and nicotine replacement therapy is available to help reduce cravings during your stay.
Money and valuables
You will be able to keep personal belongings in your bedside cupboard during your stay with us. However, we advise you not to keep any valuable items or large amounts of money with you.
If you have brought cash or valuables with you, hand them to the nurse in charge who can arrange for safekeeping and give you a receipt. We cannot take responsibility for personal items or money which are lost or damaged if they haven’t been handed over.
We have a team of social workers based in the hospital, who are on hand if you need them. Just ask a member of staff to contact the team for you.
We can also offer special help with communication, like translating. Our staff can arrange an interpreter for you, or your friends and relatives are welcome to help.
Food and drink
All patients on our wards can expect three meals a day, but meal times may vary from ward to ward. You will get to choose all freshly prepared meals from a daily menu card.
The catering team is an integral part of the meal delivery service for Gloucestershire Hospitals. Staff are on the ward most of the day, and you can recognise them by their uniform: a blue polo shirt, baseball cap and trousers.
There are a number of restaurants and cafes at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, as well as shops which supply food, drinks and toiletries.
Find out more about food and drink in our hospitals.
Contacting the ward
You and your family will be informed of the best time to telephone for news.
It would be helpful if one member of your family telephones and relays the information to the rest of your family and friends.
You can find contact details for individual wards in our wards and units directory.
Standard hospital visiting hours are from 11am to 8pm, although they do sometimes vary from ward to ward. We also have quiet time between 1pm and 3pm, to give patients time to rest.
We ask for no more than two visitors at any one time, because:
- patients tire more easily and will need time to rest
- overcrowding risks the health and safety of patients, visitors and staff
We understand that visitors may want to bring gifts for patients during their stay, but we ask that you avoid bringing flowers as we have limited space, and they can also increase the risk of infection.
Find out more about visiting times.
Free WiFi is available on all of our wards, to all visitors and patients visiting our hospitals. You will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions before access is granted, agreeing to help us maintain our duty of patient confidentiality.
To connect, you will need to:
- Enable your WiFi. Check the WiFi is enabled on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
- Connect to the network. Choose the GCH-Guest or NHSWiFi network from the list of available networks.
- Open your web browser. Open up the internet browser on your device, which will direct you to a welcome portal where you can sign in.
If you have any difficulty accessing the network, please speak to a member of staff.
Social media policy
We take patient privacy, confidentiality and our duty of care to vulnerable people in our care very seriously. We have a social media policy which includes guidelines for staff on how they can protect the confidentiality of patients while they are online.
We will never post personal health information about any of our patients in a blog or a social media site.
We want to ensure that our patients follow the same standards while in our care, to make sure information or images of other patients are not released without their prior consent.
Taking photographs in our hospital
- Patients may take photos of themselves and/or their relatives for personal reasons, and for their own personal use only.
- Express permission is needed for photographs to be taken of the inside of hospital premises, particularly wards and clinical areas (including Trust staff).
- Express written permission is needed from patients if photographs of them are to be taken on the wards and clinical areas.
- This permission can only be obtained if the patient has capacity to give it. If the patient does not have capacity to give permission, photographs must not be taken.
If patients continue to take photographs after this has been explained to them and they have been asked not to, the Trust may contact the patient(s) whose photographs have been taken.
In such a case, the Trust will make clear that they had no control over the taking of the photos, and inform the individual that they will need to take their own action if they want redress. The Trust would help by providing information in these cases.
You can listen to Cotswold Hospital Radio during your stay at Gloucestershire Royal or Cheltenham General Hospital, which is broadcast all day every day.
You can find out more by visiting the Cotswold Hospital Radio website.
Our Trust provides a hospital hairdressing service on some wards on our sites. Ask at the ward reception for more information.
If you are worried about anything, have any questions about your care or treatment, or would like to raise a concern, speak to the nursing staff on your ward.
You can ask to speak to the Ward Sister, or you can get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.