We want to make your stay with us as stress free as possible and are committed to providing the highest levels of care to each and every one of our patients.
So whether you have been admitted with an illness or injury, or have planned treatment that will require an overnight stay, there is plenty of information to help you plan your stay and have the best possible experience throughout your care with us.
Click on our locations to get directions and information on parking and public transport.
If you have an older person's travel pass you will be able to use this before 9.30am on selected routes by showing your appointment letter to the driver.
When you arrive
Our admission procedures may vary between our hospitals and wards so please make sure that you read all information sent to you before your stay.
When you arrive you should make your way straight to the ward or department specified in your letter. If you are unsure or have questions you can speak to one of our friendly reception team who will be happy to help.
When you arrive on the ward, please wash your hands using the soap and water or hand gel provided to help us minimise the spread of infection. Let a member of staff know that you have arrived and hand over any medications along with your single assessment document or care plan, if you have one.
You will be welcomed by one of our friendly ward staff who will show you where to go and help you to get comfortable. You will then be allocated a named nurse who will check your medical history and do an initial examination. You will also be given an identity bracelet with your name on. Please keep this on throughout your stay in hospital.
During your stay you will have a team of people involved in your care. This can include doctors, nurses, therapists and radiographers. In most cases a consultant will have overall responsibility for your care, but if you have any questions or concerns please speak to any member of our ward team.
What to bring with you
- Admission letter
- Single Assessment Document or Care Plan (if you have one)
- Any medicines or tablets you are taking
- Clean pyjamas or night-dress
- Dressing gown and slippers
- Day wear - tracksuit or comfortable clothes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Soap and deodorant
- Shaving equipment if appropriate
- Sanitary products if appropriate
- A book or magazine
- Glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids
- Small change for newspapers or bedside TV and telephone
If you have forgotten anything, don’t worry. Just speak to one of the ward staff who will try and help wherever possible.
What to leave at home
We do our very best to ensure that our wards are safe and secure. However, Trust buildings are open to the public and therefore we cannot accept any liability for lost or stolen personal items. We would advise that you leave the following at home:
- Valuables such as jewellery
- Large amounts of money
- Computers / tablets / mobile phones
- Large bags or suitcases
We prepare our meals freshly on site every day and pride ourself on the high quality and variety of the food we offer to our patients. You will be asked to choose your meals from a menu in advance and drinks are served throughout the day, both with meals and at other times.
We can cater for most dietary requirements. Please make one of the team aware and they will be happy to discuss with our catering team. Meal times can vary across our hospitals and wards, so please speak to one of the team if you have any questions.
Many of our wards have protected meal times. Food and drinks are important for helping patients to recover so during these times we limit activity on the wards to make sure that patients can enjoy their meals and our staff are available to help any patients that need assistance. Whilst we ask visitors not to come onto the wards during mealtimes, please speak to us if you are a carer as special arrangements can be made for you to help with meals where appropriate.
You will have access to TV and radio during your stay. Charge cards can be purchased for TV services, with the exception of a free hour at breakfast and free television on our children’s wards. There are also some concessions for patients on our elderly care wards and those who are in hospital for a longer stay.
We have TVs in many of our day rooms and radio channels are free of charge. We have hospital radio stations in both South Tyneside and Sunderland that you can listen to during your stay.
Cameras and mobile phones
Maintaining the privacy of our patients, visitors and staff is very important to us. Therefore, we would ask that you do not take any photos, video or voice recordings on our hospital premises without explicit consent. We also ask that you do not share any information on social media relating to the care of others or our staff.
When using your phone please be respectful of other patients and keep any unnecessary noise to a minimum.
If you have any questions about this please speak to a member of our ward staff.
Smoking and alcohol
Smoking is not permitted in any part of our buildings, including entrances and exit points. We have designated smoking areas on our hospital sites and would ask that you only smoke within these areas.
Alcohol should not be consumed on Trust premises. It could affect the treatment that you are given and we would ask that you speak to one of our nursing team if you have consumed alcohol before arriving.
Confidentiality and privacy
All information regarding your treatment is confidential and will only be discussed with you unless you ask us otherwise. We may discuss your progress with close family members, but only with your permission. If you have any question or concerns around your care please let one of the ward staff know.
We are compliant with the Government’s requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is in the patient’s best interest, or reflects their personal choice.
We have the necessary facilities, resources and culture to ensure that patients who are admitted to our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same sex toilets and bath / shower room areas will be close to their bed area. Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary, such as when patients need specialist equipment such as in our Critical Care Unit and our Emergency Department Resuscitation rooms, or where patients actively choose to share (for instance in Oncology or Haemotology day units).
In the unlikely event our care falls short of the required standard we will report it. We will also set up an audit mechanism to make sure we do not misclassify any of our reports.
What does same sex accommodation mean?
- Only patients of the same sex will sleep in the same room as you and use the same washing and toilet facilities.
- It is possible that both men and women will be cared for on your ward, but they will not share your sleeping area. You may share some communal space, such as the day room, and you are likely to see patients of the opposite sex as you move around the ward, or between different parts of the hospital.
- It is probable that visitors of the opposite gender will come into the room where your bed is, and this may include patients visiting each other. It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into your bed area.
- Your toilets and bathroom will be close to your bed area. However, if you need to use the disabled toilet or assisted bath / shower, you may be taken to a unisex bathroom used by men and women. If this is necessary a member of staff will stay with you and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time.
What happens if I am not cared for in a same sex environment?
The majority of patients will always be in same sex accommodation. However, there will be occasions when this is not possible, such as on our Critical Care Unit. In this instance clinical need will take priority to ensure patients receive appropriate treatment as quickly as possible. We will, wherever possible, inform you and your family prior to arrival on the unit.
We will make every effort to maintain your privacy and dignity while in that areas, for example using screens and curtains. You will be moved to a same sex area as soon as it is safe to do so. If you do not understand why you have been moved into a mixed sex area or have any questions or concerns, please speak to a member of staff.
Annual Declaration of Compliance
As South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was not in existence during the last reporting period (2018/19) this annual declaration of compliance in relation to relates to the two former Trusts.
During 2018/19 there were no reported mixed sex accommodation breaches in either City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust or South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust.
An annual declaration for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust will be published after April 2020.
If you need additional help
If you need additional help before you arrive please let us know. For example if you, or someone you know, needs a translator, uses sign language or has specific access requirements.
Our team is always happy to help. You can either contact us before you come in by using the details on our contacts page or let us know when you arrive and we will do everything we can to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
We know coming to hospital can cause anxiety for many people, particularly those with learning disabilities. Our Acute Liaison Service provides a range of specialist therapeutic interventions and support to people with a learning disability to ensure mainstream health services are accessible to people with a learning disability. The Sunderland Action for Health website is a useful resource for people with learning disabilities and their carers to help them prepare for visiting the hospital.
If you can't get into hospital?
If you are unable to attend your admission please contact us on the number detailed in your admission letter as soon as possible so we can offer the slot to another patient. You can also contact the ward directly by contacting our switchboard on 0191 565 6256.