About your appointment

Information for before you arrive and on the day of your appointment.

Your admission

The admission letter will tell you the date and time of your admission. Please read it carefully because it contains important information.

The day before your admission please call the ward (stated in your letter) to check that a bed will be available.  If you are due to come in on a Sunday or Monday please contact the ward on the Friday before.

Cancellations

On occasions an emergency case might mean we have to cancel a planned patient's admission.  If this happens we will give you as much notice as possible.

What to bring with you

  • Completed registration form
  • Any medication you are taking. 

Clothing

  • Nightwear and dressing gown
  • Slippers. See below for more detail on the best type of footwear to bring.  
  • Comfortable clothing
  • (if you are a woman having surgery) A well-fitted, supportive bra (ideally front fastening)

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste,
  • Shaving items (shaving points are available for electric razors)
  • Liquid soap only – please do not bring bars of soap or soap dishes
  • Hairbrush or comb

Other items

  • Money for the telephone, newspaper and transport home
  • Books or magazines to read
  • A pen for completing the menus
  • Any walking aids

There are shops in Fulham Wing and Sydney Wing where you can buy items during your stay.

We do not have laundry facilities for patient's clothes so please bring enough nightwear for the whole stay or ask a visitor to bring in fresh clothing.

Valuables

Please do not bring valuable items into hospital. While you will have your own locker, storage space is limited. If you must bring in valuable items,  please hand them to your nurse, who will arrange for their safekeeping and give you a receipt.

We cannot accept responsibility for loss of or damage of any personal items, unless they have been handed over for safe keeping and you have been issued with a receipt.

Footwear

It is important to bring in good fitting slippers with closed backs and a solid grip.

The type of slippers we advise patients to not bring in
The type of footwear we do 
not recommend you bring with you.
Slippers we recommend patients to bring in
The type of footwear we 
recommend you bring with you.

You should be notified by letter of the date and time of your admission.  Please read the letter carefully because it contains important details and you may need to respond to some of the information given. 

If you are due to have a cardiology procedure

We ask that you telephone the ward before you leave home, whatever the time, on the morning of your procedure, to make sure a bed is available.  Your admission letter will tell you which ward you are being admitted to.

If you are due to have surgery

If you are having surgery, your consultant's secretary will let you know when to come to hospital.  The day of your admission date please telephone our surgical bed manager on 01895 823737 and ask for “bleep 6161”, at midday to find out which ward you will be admitted to.

Cancellations

Sometimes emergency cases will unfortunately mean we have to cancel a patient’s admission.  We will try to give you as much warning as possible if this is likely to be the case but there may be some occasions when this is not possible.

What to bring with you

  • Completed registration form
  • Any medication you are currently taking.  More on bringing in your medication.

Clothing

  • Nightwear and dressing gown
  • Slippers.  Read more on the most appropriate footwear.
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Women having surgery - a well fitted, supportive bra (ideally front fastening)

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shaving items (shaving points are available for electric razors)
  • Hairbrush or comb

Other items

  • Books or magazines to read  
  • Pen for completing menus
  • Any walking aid you routinely use

There is a small shop run by the Friends of Harefield where you will be able to buy items during your stay.

Because we do not have laundry facilities for clothing you bring in, you should either bring enough nightwear for the whole of your stay or ask visitors to bring you fresh clothing.

Valuables

You may bring your mobile phone with you to hospital, but please be considerate of others when using it. Please note, your phone cannot be used in HDU or ITU.

Please do not bring jewellery, valuables (including electronic devices) or large sums of money into hospital. We do not have secure storage facilities for these items.

Any item you do bring with you is at your own risk. We cannot be held responsible for loss of, or damage to, anything you bring with you.

Footwear

It is important to bring in the most appropriate slippers.  To avoid the risk of falls we recommend footwear that fits well (though bear in mind your legs can swell during treatment), are closed on the back and have a good grip.

The type of slippers we advise patients to not bring in
The type of footwear we do 
not recommend you bring with you.
Slippers we recommend patients to bring in
The type of footwear we 
recommend you bring with you.

Please bring all the medicines you are taking with you to hospital in their original containers if you can. These should include any medicines you may have bought over the counter without a prescription. 

Please let us know if you have any concerns about bringing your medicines to hospital with you.

Why bring in your medicine?

Bringing in your medicines helps us to review your current treatment when you are admitted and judge whether it is suitable for you to continue with it. We can also check that you are taking the right medicines and doses at the correct times. 

Furthermore, we have also introduced a scheme to most wards in which patients continue using their existing medicine as part of their hospital treatment. This scheme is voluntary. 

The scheme helps reduce wastage of medicine, and when going home there is less chance for confusion over which medicine you should be taking.

If you do take part in the scheme

If your hospital doctor judges you should continue taking your current medicines, and you are happy to do so then your medicines will be kept in the medicine locker by your bed for you to take as normal. 

Any medicine that you no longer need will be taken to the pharmacy department and destroyed safely.

If you don’t take part in the scheme

If you choose not to participate, do still bring in your medicine to allow us to assess your current treatment. You will then be asked to arrange for your own medicines to be taken home and you will be provided with any medicines that you need while in hospital.

During your stay in hospital

While you are in hospital, please keep taking any medicines you were taking at home unless your doctor tells you not to.

At the start of your stay in hospital, a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or nurse will check all of your medicines and make sure that they are right for you. We will keep them in a locker by your bed for use while you are in hospital.

If it is not possible for you to take your own medicine, we will discuss this with you when you come into hospital.

If you run out of medicines, we can give you some more if you need them.

What is meant by the self-administration of medicines? 

If you are responsible for taking your own medicines, or if you have a carer who helps you to do this, it is called the self-administration of medicines.

This is not possible for all patients and we will discuss this with you when you come into hospital.

Please let us know if you have any concerns about bringing your medicines to hospital or taking your own medicines while you are in hospital. 

What happens when I go home?

Any medicine that the hospital doctors want you to continue taking will be returned to you. 

Our pharmacy department will ensure that you have at least 14 days’ supply of each medicine. They will also try to ensure you have a 'patient pack' of medication that includes a patient information leaflet for you to read.  If you do not see a patient information leaflet for the medication you are taking and would like to, please ask your ward pharmacist and they will do their best to obtain one for you.

Please contact your GP within the first two weeks of being back at home to arrange for more medicines if you need them.

If you need more information

If you have any questions while you are in hospital, you can ask a member of the medical team looking after you.

If you have questions about your medicines when you are back at home, please call our medicines helpline on 020 7351 8901 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Please bring any medication you are currently taking to hospital with you in its existing container. And please bring in a list of any medicines that are not prescribed for you including homeopathic, herbal, other supplements and over-the-counter medicines you buy from your pharmacy, health food store or supermarket.

At the start of your stay in hospital, a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or nurse will check all of your medicines and make sure that they are right for you.  

Support at home

If, on return home, you have a question or concern about your medication, please telephone our Medicines Helpline on 020 7351 8901 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). A member of our pharmacy department will do their best to help you.

When you arrive, please go to the main reception on Sydney Street. The receptionist will direct you to your ward. See directions and contact details for the hospital.

On the ward

All our wards accommodate male and female patients but your needs are important to us and we take measures to ensure your privacy and dignity.  Read more about our wards.

When you get to your ward you will meet your nurse and a member of the medical team. They will explain what you can expect and tell you about your procedure. They will also ask you to sign a consent form to show you agree to the procedure and understand what it involves. This is a safeguard to make sure we only act with your permission. 

Read more about the consent process and your rights as a patient.  Read more about the staff members you will meet.

Health insurance forms and sickness certificates

If you need a sickness certificate for your employer, we can only sign one for the time you have been in hospital.  Your GP will provide a certificate for any further cover.

If you require a health insurance form to be completed, please tell the nurse looking after you or the ward administrator and they will arrange this.

Going home

A provisional ‘going home’ date will be discussed when you are admitted.  As soon as your doctor feels you are well enough, this date will be confirmed. If you have any worries about returning home, please tell your nurse or the social worker.

Transport home

Please arrange in advance for a relative or friend to collect you when you leave hospital. If this is impossible, notify your nurse as soon as possible as it could take up to 48 hours to arrange transport.

If you arrived at hospital by hospital transport please ensure your nurse knows this on admission.

How you can help us before you leave

Please:

  • leave a forwarding address with your nurse
  • remind the person who is collecting you to bring your clothes (if you are travelling on hospital transport you should wear outdoor clothing and not nightwear)
  • ask your nurse for any medical certificates you may need
  • collect any valuables you brought with you.

Individual staff are not allowed to accept personal gifts but sometimes patients wish to show their appreciation by means of a contribution. Read more on our fundraising pages.

When you are back at home

Please feel free to telephone the ward if you want advice at any time.

Please go to the main reception on arrival and staff will be able to direct you to the right place for your appointment or admission.

On the ward

All our wards accommodate male and female patients but your needs are important to us and we take measures to ensure your privacy and dignity. 

When you get to your ward you will meet your nurse and a member of the medical team. They will explain what you can expect and tell you about your procedure. They will also ask you to sign a consent form to show you agree to the procedure and understand what it involves. This is a safeguard to make sure we only act with your permission. 

Read more about the consent process and your rights as a patient. Read more about the staff members you will meet.

Read about being discharged and going home.