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​Try to arrange for someone to come with you when you come into hospital. They will be able to take away anything you will not need while you are here. If for medical reasons, you are unable to travel by bus or car, you can ask your Family Doctor (GP) to arrange transport for you.

The Hospital Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) was set up to provide financial assistance to those patients who do not have a medical need for ambulance transport, but who require assistance with their travel costs. Under HTCS, patients on low incomes or specific qualifying benefits or allowances are reimbursed in part or in full for fares incurred in travelling to hospital, if their journey meets certain criteria.​

To make a claim you will need to bring proof that you are in receipt of benefit, your receipt for travel (bus/rail ticket, taxi receipt etc) and a signed attendance form from the ward or department, and then go to the Cashiers office located in the main entrance of the City General hospital. More information about the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme can be found at

If you are receiving any home care support, you or your relatives will need to cancel it by contacting your local Social Services office.

Should you need to telephone your Consultant's secretary either before, or after your stay in hospital, please have the following information ready:

  • Your Hospital Patient Number (you will find this on your letter of admission)
  • The name of your consultant
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address

If you have any special needs (e.g. at home you use a pressure relieving mattress, specialist seating, wheelchair, communication aids etc) that will affect your stay in hospital, let the ward know in advance. It would be useful for your carer to list your normal care requirements and to bring this in with you or to discuss them at the pre-assessment visit.

On rare occasions, operations have to be cancelled, mainly due to high numbers of emergencies coming to the hospital. When this happens, we will try to contact you by phone to inform you of this before you arrive at the hospital. Where possible, we also give you a new admission date then, if not you will be informed of the new date by post as soon as possible.

Due to the high number of phone calls received by wards, we ask you to arrange with your friends and relatives for one person to phone the ward to make enquiries about your progress and then inform the rest. That person can play a similar role when liaising with staff when you are on the ward.​


This may interfere with your treatment. If you have concerns about your use of alcohol and would like further ad​vice or information please ask a nurse looking after you to make a referral to our specialised team of staff.

Tobacco or Tobacco Products

The hospital has a 'Smoke-Free' policy. There are restrictions on smoking so do not bring any smoking materials with you.

Outdoor Clothing

Some areas e.g. rehabilitation, encourage the wearing of everyday clothing instead of nightwear. In general, however, as storage is limited please ask someone to take all your outdoor clothing home when you are admitted.

Electrical Equipment

Equipment such as hairdryers, TVs, music players, curling tongs etc. must be checked by a Trust electrician before being used and this can take a couple of days on some occasions. Many of these items are provided by each ward.

Money and Valuables

Please do not bring any valuables or large sums of money with you. You will only need a little money to buy newspapers, soft drinks etc. or to make telephone calls. If you cannot leave valuables and money at home or with a trusted person, hand them for safekeeping to the nurse in charge when you arrive. You will be given a receipt. All money is banked by the Trust and the balance, if over 100 pounds, is refunded by cheque after you leave the hospital. If you remain in hospital longer than expected, you can be refunded smaller amounts of cash for use during your stay. 

The Trust cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to anything you bring with you unless it has been handed over for safekeeping and you can produce the receipt given to you by the hospital. Items of a small value which have not been claimed within six months of your discharge will be disposed of. If you wear a hearing aid, spectacles or false teeth you should be aware that the Trust cannot accept any responsibility for their loss or damage. The Trust recommends that such high cost items are insured for loss or damage.


If you are regularly using any medication including tablets, inhalers or creams prescribed by your own doctor or medication you buy from your local pharmacy or health food shop or if you have a special card with details of any treatment please bring them with you during your hospital stay. On many wards there are now safe drug storage lockers by your bed where we will store your own medication. 

If you give your consent we can use your own medication during your stay. We will remove any old or unwanted medication and add any newly prescribed medication to your locker whilst you are in hospital. This all helps to make sure you receive the best care. If you are unable or not willing to bring in your own medication please bring in an up-to-date list of all your regular medication so we can ensure the drug chart at the end of your bed is correct. 

Bringing your own medication into hospital is very helpful and can reduce the time you wait for your tablets prior to discharge.

Address and Telephone Number of Next of Kin

Please bring a note of the name, address and telephone number of your next of kin or closest friend.

Letter of Admission

Please also bring your Letter of Admission with you.

Personal Property

Please bring with you the following items, as appropriate:

  • Personal toiletries
  • Bed jacket or cardigan
  • Nightdress/pyjamas
  • Dressing gown
  • Well fitted slippers/footwear
  • Tissues​
  • Towels
  • Indoor clothes (if preferred)
  • Spectacles, hearing/walking aids etc

You may wish to bring material of interest to occupy your time such as magazines, books, personal music player etc. It is a good idea to mark your property with your name in order to reduce loss.

Where appropriate you should also make other arrangements, such as:​

  • ​​Making sure that someone is able to collect you from the hospital and take you home after your operation. If you cannot arrange this, please let the ward manager know so that we may be able to arrange hospital transport for you.
  • Arranging for a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours after your operation.
  • Organising childcare for the time you are in surgery and for at least 12 hours after you leave.

UHNM has launched the innovative red bag scheme to provide a better care experience for care home residents by improving communication between care homes and hospitals.

The red bag is the most visible part of successful collaboration between care homes, hospitals and ambulance staff, known as the hospital transfer pathway.

When a resident becomes unwell and is assessed as needing hospital care, care home staff pack a dedicated red bag that includes the resident's standardised paperwork and their medication, as well as day-of-discharge clothes and other personal items.

It's a simple change which is proving to have benefits for both patients and the NHS. It facilitates a smoother handover between care home, ambulance and hospital staff with fewer phone calls and follow-ups made by the hospital staff to care homes looking for health information about the resident.

The same process is repeated – with up-to-date documentation – when the resident is ready to return home.

Documents to go into the Red Bag

For information

Here at University Hospitals of North Midlands we hope your stay will be a positive one. However, with over 700,000 patients we recognise that we do not always get it right. If you have any concerns during your stay, no matter how small, please speak to the Sister or Matron whilst you are on the Ward. We understand that you may be uncomfortable with raising concerns with those people directly providing your care, but it is the best way to ensure we can improve your experience.

If you don't feel able to do so, then our helpful Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team are a​ble to help. PALS was introduced to assist and support patients throughout their care. The team are impartial, welcoming, open and confidential service for people who would like information or advice, or would like to comment about any aspect of the services provided by University Hospitals.

The PALS office is situated inside the Royal Stoke University Hospital Main Building, to the right of reception in the Main Entrance. The office is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday (not including bank holidays). The can be contacted on 01782 676450 or 01782 676455 or email:

Site Office at UHNM