During your stay

After you have checked in at the ward reception, one of the ward team will get you settled, tell you where things are, and who your main doctor will be. If you need help or assistance to make your stay more comfortable, please speak to any member of staff. Below is information about what to expect and facilities available to make your stay easier and more comfortable.

Our CARE Campaign

Our CARE campaign is committed to delivering the fundamentals of care by putting patients at the heart of everything we do.

C – Communicate with compassion

We listen and respond to your needs, keeping you involved and informed at every step.

A – Assist with toileting, ensuring dignity

We will make sure your toileting needs are responded to quickly and in a dignified way.

R – Relieve pain effectively

We will ask you about your pain and do all we can to control your pain needs well.

E – Encourage adequate nutrition

We will help you with your meal when needed and make sure your mealtime is undisturbed.

Personal belongings while you’re in hospital

When you’re admitted, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or relative to take home anything you won’t need while you’re here, and, because wards can be very busy, do take special care of things like glasses, hearing­ aids and dentures.

You’ll also need to make your own arrangements for clothes and laundry, and bear in mind we can only be responsible for property which is handed in for safe keeping.

Electronic devices, phones and cameras

We ask that you are considerate in your use of mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices on wards and in clinical areas. They can sometimes affect medical equipment so if you’re ever asked by a member of staff to turn them off, please do.

Please consider other patients and keep noise to a minimum by texting instead of calling and using earphones to listen to music or videos.

Please remember you’re not allowed to use a camera or recording equipment of any kind without the express permission from the person you are taking the image of, otherwise you could be breaching the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.

WiFi, hospital radio and bedside entertainment

All three of our hospitals have free WiFi, just ask a member of staff for information about how to connect.

You can also listen to our very own radio station, CHBN (Community & Hospital Broadcasting Network). You’ll find a lively mix of music, chat and features, 24 hours a day. We cater for all age groups and tastes of music with an extensive collection of audio in our library. You can find out more about CHBN, and how to listen in, on the CHBN website.

We also have bedside entertainment services available on our wards, and this varies depending on which hospital you are staying in. For more information, please visit the facilities page of the relevant hospital:

Your visitors

We understand how important visitors can be, and welcome them during the hours displayed at each ward’s entrance. (If you are moved wards, please double­ check visiting times, as they vary between wards.) It’s not usually possible to visit outside of these hours unless nursing staff agree, so please ask.

We like to limit visitor numbers to two at a time, and again, please check with staff about children under 12. It’s normally fine for them to visit, too, but they must be properly supervised.

If you ever feel a bit overwhelmed by visitors, which can happen, please let a nurse know.

And if someone with a cold, cough, stomach upset or any other infectious condition is intending to visit, please ask them not to because of the risk of infecting other people.

A relative or friend is welcome to speak to a doctor about your care or treatment as long as you agree. Just ask a nurse to arrange an appointment, and don’t forget to tell them if an interpreter is needed.

Find out more about visiting a friend or relative in hospital.

Meals and refreshments

We have a dedicated team of staff working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure you receive quality, nutritious meals during your stay with us.

As you’d expect, we normally serve three meals a day and there’s always a choice, including a vegetarian option. We also cater for various other diets: vegan, kosher, gluten­-free, etc. It’s best if you can tell us about any special diet at least 24 hours before you come in, but don’t worry if that’s not possible, just tell us as soon as you can.

Depending on your condition, it might be that your doctor or dietitian wants us to arrange a special diet for you.

If you’re due for an operation or a test, you might not be allowed to eat or drink beforehand, or you might need a special diet; if so, the nursing staff will talk to you about it.

Do also check with them before you have any food or drink that’s been brought in for you, or bought in the hospital.

We work to strict Food Health Regulations so we can’t microwave or reheat anything for you.

For any other help with meals, special cutlery, or anything else, just ask the nursing staff. We use red trays to indicate when our patients need some extra help and are always happy to help you with eating and drinking if you need some assistance.

We serve drinks with meals as well as at other times, and hot drinks in the evening. If anything makes you miss a meal, we’ll make sure you get a snack box to keep you going.

Find out more about our commitment to providing quality, nutritious food on our quality and safety standards page

Help and assistance during your stay

The General Office

The general office can help you if you are eligible and need advice on claiming back your travel expenses. They can also look after cash and valuables during your stay, lost property, charity donations and help with general travel advice. For more information, please visit the facilities section of the hospital you are staying in:

Do you have hearing difficulties?

We have amplifying equipment that will help you hear better. Just ask any member of staff.

Do you need alternative versions of leaflets or information?

If you need any booklets or information leaflets you are given during your stay in large print, braille, audio format or in another language, please ask your nurse or contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01872 253545.

Do you need an interpreter?

If you need an interpreter to help you talk to doctors and nurses, ask a relative or friend to tell the nurses as soon as possible and we will do our best to provide an interpreter service.

Spiritual, religious and cultural needs

We do our best to respect your spiritual, religious and cultural beliefs. Our Spiritual & Pastoral Care Team visit wards regularly, and Chaplains are also available on call, just ask anyone working on the ward. The team is mainly Christian but can help with your spiritual care regardless of your faith, and whether you have one or not.

The hospital chapels are open to all at each of our hospitals and staff can let you know exactly how to find them. If you’re at Royal Cornwall Hospital and would rather not use the main chapel, we have prayer and quiet rooms available. You’ll find leaflets outside the chapels and, in your locker, a copy of the New Testament and Psalms provided by the Gideons. The chaplaincy office also keeps some texts for the major world faiths and will happily lend them on request.

Let us know if you’d like us to contact your own priest, minister or faith community leader, or 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.)

Sending and receiving post

Wards receive post every day. Please ask people to make sure your full name and ward are clearly written, along with the full hospital address, just so we can make sure your mail gets to you.

There are daily Royal Mail collections from all hospitals; ward staff will take your stamped mail and post it for you.

There is also a postbox at the main Trelawny Wing entrance if you are staying at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Facilities at our hospitals