We want to make your inpatient stay with us as stress free as possible. We are committed to providing the highest levels of care to every one of our patients.

So whether you have been admitted with an illness or injury, or you have planned treatment that will need an overnight stay. There is plenty of information to help you plan your stay and have the best possible experience.

NHS England - Simple steps to keep you safe during your hospital stay

Getting here

Visit travelling to and from our hospitals to find out how to get to our locations. There is information on public transport, parking and local community transport schemes.

When you arrive

Our admission procedures may vary between our hospitals and wards. 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. This will help us minimise the spread of infection. Let a member of staff know that you have arrived and give them any medications you have brought with you. If you have a single assessment document or care plan, please also give this to a member of staff.

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. They 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. Usually a Consultant will have 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 and incontinence products
  • Spare underwear 
  • 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 fresh on site every day. We take pride in the high quality and variety of food we offer to our patients.

You will be asked to choose your meals from a menu in advance. Drinks are served throughout the day, both with meals and at other times.

We cater for a range of dietary requirements. If you have a dietary need or have a question please speak to one of the team. 

Many of our wards have protected meal times. Food and drink are important for helping patients to recover. During these times we limit activity on the wards to make sure that patients can enjoy their meals. Our staff are available to help any patients that need help. We do ask visitors not to come onto the wards during mealtimes, but please do speak to us if you are a carer. You may be able to help with meals where appropriate.

Bedside entertainment

You will have access to TV and radio during your stay.

Free access to TV services is available every day:

  • between the hours of 6:00am and midday on our adult wards.
  • between 6:00am until 7:00pm on our children's wards.

Outside of these hours, you can buy a card to access TV services. There are some concessions for patients on our elderly care wards and for patients who are in hospital for a longer stay.

We have TV's in many of our day rooms and radio channels are free of charge. We have hospital radio stations in both South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Cameras and mobile phones

Maintaining the privacy of our patients, visitors and staff is very important to us. We ask that you don't 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 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 anywhere, on any of our sites. For more information, please click here. 

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. It will only be discussed with you unless you ask us otherwise. We may discuss your care with close family members, but only with your permission. If you have any question or concerns 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 facilities to ensure that patients who are admitted to our hospitals, only share the room where they sleep, with members of the same sex.

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. For example, in our Critical Care Unit; our Emergency Department Resuscitation rooms. Or where patients choose to share (Oncology or Haematology 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 people of different sex/gender will be cared for on the same ward, but will not share the same sleeping area. You may share some communal space. The day room for example. You are likely to see patients of different sex / gender as you move around the ward, or between different parts of the hospital.
  • It is probable that visitors of different sex/gender will come into the room where your bed is. This may include patients visiting each other.  It is almost certain that 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 shared bathroom. 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. There will be occasions however, when this is not possible. For example, on our Critical Care Unit. In this instance, clinical need will take priority. This is 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 whilst in these areas. For example, by 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

During 2021/22 there were no reported mixed sex accommodation breaches at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

If you need additional help

If you need help before you arrive for your appointment please let us know. You may need a translator or help getting around the department.

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. This is to ensure mainstream health services are accessible to people with a learning disability. You can read more here: Coming to hospital if you have a learning disability

The Sunderland Action for Health website is also a useful resource for people with a learning disability.

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. This is so we can offer your slot to another patient. You can also contact the ward direct by contacting our switchboard on 0191 565 6256.