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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Preparing to come into Hospital

During your stay with us, it is important you prepare for your visit as best you can. 

Please take time to read through this really helpful information guide for inpatients and day-cases below. 

The guide has been written to tell you some important information you will need about our hospitals, whether
you are coming to see us as a surgical inpatient or a day-case. It explains how to prepare for your visit and what you can expect on the day.

Before You Arrive

Your admission letter
Your admission letter details the date on which your surgery will take place as well as the location.

Please ensure you read this carefully as it contains information which will help to ensure your surgery goes ahead as planned. In particular, it contains guidance about eating and drinking before you attend hospital. You must not eat sweets or chew gum if you are having a general anaesthetic (you will be asleep during your operation).

Your health and wellbeing before surgery
It is very important that you try and stay healthy before your surgery. Eat and drink well - your body needs fuel to repair - and try to stay physically active. It is natural to be worried about surgery, try and spend time with family or friends to help you relax.

If you do drink alcohol or smoke then take this opportunity to stop or cut down. This will help your recovery and reduce the risk of any complications.

If you feel unwell in the week immediately before your surgery then please contact your consultant’s secretary for advice and guidance. This will help us assess whether your surgery can go ahead as planned.

Medication
It is vital that you bring any medication with you that you are currently taking, in their original container. The hospital staff will take these from you and may use them during your stay. They will be returned to you on discharge if they are still required along with any medication you need to take home. In some cases patients are asked to stop taking specific medication at certain times prior to their admission. Please follow the specific instructions given to you by your consultant.

If you have any questions regarding your medication please phone your consultant’s secretary.

Things to do before you come into hospital:

  • Let your relatives/friends/neighbours know when your surgery is taking place and ensure you have nominated a family member or friend to be your carer for when you return home from hospital
  • Bring a partner/relative/friend contact telephone number to call on discharge
  • Organise child care/pet care where necessary
  • Ensure you have arranged your transport for getting to the hospital and more importantly how you will get home. If you need to book an ambulance to come in you can do this through your GP
  • If you receive regular support at home from Social Services or any other agency then please let them know so they can make any necessary arrangements
  • Inform your place of work
  • Check your diary and cancel any appointments
  • Remove all make up, nail varnish, false eyelashes and nails and pierced jewellery before you come into hospital
  • If you have any additional needs such as an interpreter or require any adjustments to your care due to a disability then please contact your consultant’s secretary as soon as possible so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Planning for your discharge
Staff on the wards will be working to a planned date for your discharge. You need to make sure that you are aware of when this will be and have plans in place to be collected from hospital at the appropriate time. If you are not told when you can be expected to be discharged, please ask a member of the ward staff.

Things you might need to bring
You will be provided with a bedside locker on the ward but space is limited so please don’t bring more than needed. Please bring your belongings in a zipped medium sized bag rather than a large suitcase.

Please do not bring valuables into the hospital. You will be able to wear your wedding ring but all other jewellery will need to be removed before your operation so it is better to leave it at home.

The Day of Surgery

Your admission letter will detail the time and location of your operation; this can take place at either Arrowe Park Hospital or Clatterbridge Hospital.

Bathe or shower prior to attending.

You may wait for some time from your arrival to when you are taken to theatre, this is because you will need to be seen by a number of staff including nursing staff, your anaesthetist and a member of the surgical team. We will endeavour to keep you up to date about expected waiting times.

Admissions to Arrowe Park Hospital

  • Your day will start in the Surgical Elective Admissions Lounge (SEAL). This can be found at the back of the hospital. If you are accessing SEAL by car, please follow the directional signage to the rear of the hospital. We have a drop off point at SEAL but there is no parking. There is limited space in the reception area so we would ask that friends and relatives drop patients off at SEAL and then leave.
  • Your admission letter will state what time you should arrive in the lounge, this will be either 7am or 11am.
  • On arrival please report to the reception desk.
  • Your details will be checked before you take a seat in the main reception area.
  • After you have registered you will be seen by a member of the nursing staff, please use this opportunity to ask any outstanding questions you may have about your operation.
  • You will wait in a dedicated male or female lounge. There will be a member of the nursing staff on hand to deal with any questions or queries.
  • If you have brought any belongings with you, these will be labelled by the lounge staff and taken to the ward where you will be taken following your operation.

Admissions to Clatterbridge Hospital

  • Your admission letter will state where you should report to and the time you should arrive.
  • After you have registered, you will wait in the reception area until you are taken into the day unit or ward.
  • You will be seen by a member of the nursing staff, please use this opportunity to ask any outstanding questions you may have about your operation.
  • Your belongings will stay with you until you are ready to go to theatre and will be kept securely until you have returned from theatre.

Day Case Admissions
If you are a day case you must arrange for someone to escort you home and stay with you for 24 hours. Your escort will be contacted by day ward staff and advised when to collect you after your operation.

Relatives/friends of day case patients will not be able to wait on the day ward and there is no visiting.

Anaesthetic drugs remain in the body for 24 hours and gradually wear off during this time therefore your natural reactions which ensure your safety will not be as quick as usual.

Instructions to follow:

  • Do not drive a car or ride a bicycle for 24 hours
  • Do not operate moving machinery or do anything that requires skill or judgement for 24 hours
  • Do not make important decisions or sign important documents for 24 hours
  • Do not take sleeping tablets the first night after your operation
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours
  • Observe special precautions and instructions given to you on discharge
  • Do not lock the bathroom door or make yourself inaccessible to the person looking after you
  • Make sure you have access to a telephone
  • You must not leave the Unit until you have been discharged by the nurse and accompanied home by a responsible adult.