This page was last updated: December 24th, 2021
We know that coming to hospital can also present a range of practical issues as well as medical issues. This section details the support and guidance we offer to our patients and details of how you can access it.
If you would like to give us feedback on the care you have received, you can find information about how to give us a compliment or make a complaint on our Get in Touch page.
All of our main entrances have level access and are wheelchair-friendly. We also have coin-operated wheelchairs available.
Royal Cornwall Hospital – Trelawny Entrance, Tower Entrance, Link Corridor Entrance (by Lowen Ward) and Maternity Entrance
St Michaels Hospital – Main Entrance
West Cornwall Hospital – Main Entrance
The chairs are operated by a £1 coin and they do not accept cards; however there is a cashpoint and a shop in the foyer there – there is also a receptionist there who can usually let a wheelchair out for you.
These wheelchairs are push only and are not able to be self-operated. Porters are available to push patients to their appointments.
All of our car parks have disabled spaces available close to our main entrances. Don’t forget to display your blue badge and make a note of any time restrictions or charges.
Many of our reception areas are fitted with loop systems to help people with hearing loss.
If you would like a BSL interpreter to help you communicate with hospital staff, please contact the department where your appointment is due as soon as possible. This information should be on your hospital appointment letter.
We have a specialist team that offers support for patients with learning disabilities. This helps to prepare them for coming to hospital and provides additional help during their stay. Find out more here.
A Changing Place is an accessible bathroom facility with additional equipment to support visitors with severe mobility needs to attend to their personal hygiene needs.
Anyone in the area with additional mobility needs can use the adult changing place. You’ll need a RADAR key to unlock the door, if you don’t have one, you can borrow one from the Trelawny Wing reception desk, or out of hours, from the Medical Admissions Unit (MAU).
The bathroom is located on the first floor of the Trelawny Wing (main entrance level) towards the end of the corridor on the left, and is open 24 hours a day.
The adult changing place has the following equipment:
For patients who have passed away in hospital, we have a dedicated bereavement service to support you during this difficult time.
The team will prepare the necessary paperwork and liaise with other people that may be helping you with arrangements such as funeral directors. They can also arrange for you to see your loved one.
Please visit the Bereavement Services page for more information.
The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust recognises that carers play an important role in the continuing care of many of its patients following discharge, effectively supporting patients’ health and other care needs in the community. By implementing best practice, the Trust wishes to promote the health and independence of carers.
Here are some initiatives that help us achieve this aim:
This supports carers with open visiting and joint care planning. Carers will be given the passport by the ward staff. It also provides information for carer’s and their rights as carers.
John’s Campaign was founded in November 2014 by Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones. Behind its simple statement of purpose lies the belief that carers should not just be allowed but should be welcomed, and that a collaboration between the patients and all connected with them is crucial to their health and their well-being. John’s Campaign applies to all hospital settings: acute, community, mental health and its principles could extend to all other caring institutions where people are living away from those closest to them. In the time since the campaign was founded, over 1000 institutions have pledged support. RCHT have signed up to this pledge.
The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Carer’s policy recognises that carers play an important role in the continuing care of many of its patients following discharge, effectively picking up patients’ health and other care needs in the community. By implementing best practice, the Trust wishes to promote the health and independence of carers. The Trust commitment to carer’s is highlighted in the carer’s Policy.
Thanks to donors who have supported the RCHT Charity, five reclining chairs were purchased at the Royal Cornwall Hospital for use by carers staying overnight with someone in hospital. The bright orange fabric for the chairs has been deliberately chosen so they can easily be identified from the usual ward furniture. The five chairs, which cost £1000 each, are located in three different wards but will be available for all areas to loan as required. Ultimately it is hoped every ward will have at least one carers’ chair.
RCHT have designed a care plan specifically for carers to help support any identify needs that they may have. This document facilitates discussion and provides the evidence of partnership working and the holistic approach to care of our patients.
The Trust’s carers information leaflet is packed with information to support carers.
You can either speak to any member of staff, or report it directly to the Estates Helpdesk:
01872 253400 between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
The Estates Helpdesk is located opposite the post room in the link corridor between Trelawny Wing and the Tower Block at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. It’s open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Please call the Royal Cornwall Hospital switchboard on 01872 250000.
We are dedicated to providing high quality, tasty, balanced and nutritious food for all of our patients. To meet this standard, we have a dedicated food production unit, run by Cornwall Food, with a purpose built facility in Redruth.
The team have a strong focus on using fresh quality produce from sustainable sources. At present 85% of the produce in all our meals is locally sourced. All food is “safe”, and either meets or exceeds CQC and HACCP standards.
Meals are produced on site by dedicated chefs using traditional cooking techniques. Main meals are then frozen on site ready to be reheated at the hospitals using an innovative mobile oven developed specifically for this purpose by the Cornwall Food team. This means that all of the goodness and nutrients are preserved, and that the meals are served at the correct temperature for every single patient. We can cater for a range of special diets so please just let the nurses know if you have any special food or drink requirements.
You can find out more information about Cornwall Food by visiting their website.
Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for an organ transplant.
What is changing
From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they had recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. This is commonly referred to as an ‘opt-out’ system.
Those excluded will be:
Adults covered by the change will still have a choice whether they want to be an organ donor and their families will still be involved before organ donation goes ahead.
Whatever decision people make, they should make their choice clear to their family and closest friends to help ensure that choice is honoured.
Find out more here: www.organdonation.nhs.uk
While there may be ethical dilemmas relating to consent in certain circumstances, much of the time clear principles exist to guide the process.
We will document information given to patients, both written and verbal.
Anyone taking consent for a particular procedure must either be;
Your clinician may talk to you about recording your consent or may give you a ‘Procedure Specific Consent Form’ which will provide written information about the procedure and a form for you to sign that you consent for the treatment to go ahead.
If there are concerns about an individual’s mental capacity to consent to treatment then this will be discussed and there is a legal process to follow.
We are committed to the principle of ‘no decision about me without me’ and please feel free to ask any questions at any time about your consent to treatment and care.
We produce a range of patient information leaflets. Your doctor or nurse may give you any that are relevant.
If you need any booklet or information leaflet in large print, braille, audio format or in another language, please ask your nurse.
Spiritual care is often used as the overall term and is relevant for all. For some, their spiritual needs are met by religious care, the visits, prayers, worship, rites and sacraments often provided by a faith leader, or representative of the faith community or belief group. Spiritual care can be provided by all healthcare staff, by carers, families and other patients. When a person is treated with respect, when they are listened to in a meaningful way, when they are seen and treated as a whole person within the context of their life, values and beliefs, then they are receiving spiritual care.
Chaplains are the specialist spiritual care providers. Our Spiritual & Pastoral Care Team visit wards regularly and Chaplains are also available on call, and can be reached on 01872 252883 or through the switchboard on 01872 250000 out of hours.
The Chaplains work closely with all faith communities, so if you would like us to contact your own priest, minister or faith community leader, we can do that for you.
There are hospital chapels at each of our hospitals, they are open to all and staff or chaplaincy team can let you know exactly how to find them. We also have further prayer and quiet rooms available at Royal Cornwall Hospital.
A copy of the New Testament and Psalms is provided by the Gideons in bedside lockers. The chaplaincy office also keeps some texts for the major world faiths and will happily lend them on request.
Please let us know if there’s anything you feel we should know when providing your care (whether it’s to do with prayer, diet, use of blood products, washing / ablution, etc.)
If you require a special diet during your stay in hospital, please tell us as soon as possible so we can make sure we have the correct food available.
TAP (Transport Access Patients) coordinates a fleet of car drivers across Cornwall who can organise a lift for you. They can arrange for a car or an accessible mini-bus if you have a wheelchair or walking frame. There is a charge for this service (payable per mile) and you can travel alone or with friends or family. You can contact TAP on 01872 223388.
Volunteer Cornwall also provide a similar service, again, charged by the mile. Contact them on 01872 265300.
There are also a range of community transport schemes running throughout the county. Please visit the Cornwall Council Community Transport Schemes page for more information.
If you receive Income Support or other benefits, you might be able to reclaim your travel and parking expenses under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. More information about the scheme and details of how to claim are available on NHS Choices.
To reclaim your expenses you’ll need to take your travel receipts, appointment letter or card, and proof that you are receiving one of the qualifying benefits to the General Office. Details of the general offices are here:
The Patient Transport Service (PTS) provide free transport to and from hospital for people who need the support of clinically trained staff or specialist equipment during or after their journey.
Your GP or the healthcare professional who referred you to hospital will discuss with you whether you have a medical need for transport, and explain what happens if you do.
The Patient Transport Service at the Royal Cornwall Hospital will be able to help you with any transport questions you have about getting to or from the Isles of Scilly. They are open from 8am until 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 10.30am to 5pm at the weekends, on 01872 252211.
For both planned and emergency stays, the Trust will cover the cost of your flights to and from the mainland. There is a £5 admin fee for planned stays, that you will need to pay before you travel to hospital. You will not need to pay this if you come in as an emergency admission.
You’ll also need to arrange transport between the hospital and the airport.
If you came in as an emergency don’t worry, the Patient Transport Service can help you plan your journey home and if you’re being transferred to another hospital, all the arrangements will be made for you.
If you need to alter your return flight, or if your flight is delayed or cancelled, contact the Patient Transport Service for advice, quoting the booking reference on your ticket. They can also book your return flight if you haven’t done so yet.
If you can’t travel home the same day you leave hospital, you might be able to stay in alternative accommodation. Speak to the team at the Patient Transport Service or ask the staff on your ward to get in touch on your behalf.
Before you go home don’t forget to ask your ward team…