If you are coming into hospital for a planned operation or treatment your letter will tell you what you need to bring in with you, which is mostly the daily things like nightwear, toiletries, books and the medicines you take at home. Please be sure to remember to bring in any walking aids, spectacles and hearing aids if these are used. Staff will need contact numbers for relatives and details of your doctor. If you have any problems and think you may not be able to come in on the planned date, please let us know immediately by ringing the number on your letter to speak to someone.

Please do not bring any valuables such as jewellery or large amounts of money with you.

If you do have any valuables with you such as your pension book, you are advised to hand them to staff for safekeeping and you will be given a receipt. Please be aware that any cash handed in for safekeeping will be returned as a cheque.

The Trust does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage to personal property that is not handed in to staff for safekeeping.

Where do you go when you’re coming into hospital?

The hospital site is large and may seem confusing but the main reception is well-signposted and easy to find and staff there will be happy to direct you to your ward. When you reach your ward a receptionist or nurse will meet you.

Directions to the hospital and details of car parking can be found on the hospital location profile page. To download a copy of the hospital site map please click on the link below.

Royal Bolton Hospital Site Map [304kb] PDF


Think Home First – How you can help

When someone is in hospital our priority is to help them to recover as quickly as possible and return home as soon as they are able. We have a ‘Think home first’ ethos; which means we work with our patients, their relatives and carers to help them get dressed and get active as soon they can. Maintaining the dignity and independence of our patients is very important to us.

Relatives and carers play a big part when someone they care for is in hospital. This includes:

  • Bringing in clean comfortable daywear, nightwear and well-fitting shoes.
  • Providing glasses, hearing aids and/or any other items that your relative/friend would usually have at home.
  • Their usual toiletries to assist in washing, as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste.
  • Encouraging them to sit up out of bed if possible.
  • Encouraging them to move around the ward/unit where possible – staff can help to ensure this is done safely.
  • Helping them to eat and drink regularly, even if it is little and often – we welcome any carer who would like to assist with eating and drinking.
  • Bringing in newspapers/books or other activities they enjoy to help keep mentally active.

By working together we can help our patients retain their dignity and independence, prevent muscle and strength loss and maintain as normal a routine as possible. This will help them to recover and return home as soon as possible.

Think Home First poster [213kb] PDF


Arriving at the ward

When you arrive at the ward a member of staff will welcome you and show you to your bed. A courtesy hook will be above your bed to indicate it has been cleaned.

You will see a large number of different staff on the ward, who may be involved in your care such as nurses, doctors, therapists and healthcare assistants.  Staff will introduce themselves and explain their role. If you are unsure who someone is please ask them to explain. All staff wear identification badges.

In order to make sure we give the right care to the right person all patients are given a wristband on their admission to wear all the time they’re in hospital. Please check that the information on the wristband is correct for you. If the wristband is removed for any reason please let a member of staff know immediately so it can be replaced.

You’ll be told which nurse is mainly responsible for your care but please tell staff which medicines you usually take and if you have any allergies. Staff are there to help you, so if you have any questions at all about any of your care and treatment please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff.


Bring your own medicinesBringing your own medicines

The Royal Bolton Hospital encourages people to bring their own medicines with them when they have a hospital stay. This ensures that patients have the correct medication right from the start.

When a patient is discharged from hospital they need to have seven days’ worth of any medicines they are prescribed. If they do not have their own medicines with them –even if they have them at home – the hospital must give them a new prescription which is usually for 28 days. Bringing your own medicines with you means that there will be reduced delays waiting for medicines to take  home.


Medicines Prescribed

Some medicines are manufactured using material of animal origin. If this is a concern, please inform the health care professional looking after you. If you do not wish to take a certain medicine then we will try and find an alternative. Sometimes the alternative may not be as effective or there may not be a suitable option that doesn’t contain animal products. You will need to consider the risk  of not taking a medicine and we can help explain these risks.


What’s it like on the ward?

Wards are busy places but they are dedicated to you, the patient. They are divided into small areas called bays and are for women-only or men-only. You’ll have a locker for your things and each day you’ll be given a menu and asked to choose the meals you would like.

Nurses work in shifts and they’ll usually come round to see you at the start of each shift for a quick chat. There is a sister or charge nurse who looks after each ward.  Your doctor will also come to see you to discuss your care and what is happening to you. Sometimes students are involved in your care because they need to learn, but if you don’t want this just tell your doctor or nurse – it’s not a problem.

The doctors, nurses and therapists will ask you to agree to any form of examination, treatment or care. It is important that you feel you have been given enough information before you agree to particular aspects of treatment. You are always free to say no or to ask for more information.

If you are having an operation written consent is needed. This involves signing a consent form, which is a written record that you have agreed to the treatment. The risks and benefits associated with the treatment must be documented on the consent form for you to read before you sign it. You will be given a copy of this document.

Please feel free to ask questions if you do not understand all aspects of any information you are given. Even when you have made a decision about your treatment you can change your mind at any time, even after you have signed a consent form.

If at any time you are feeling at all confused or worried about any of your treatment or care, please do not hesitate to talk to staff about it at any time, they will do everything they can to help you. You may want to make a specific appointment to speak to your consultant with your family, if so please ask a member of staff and they will make those arrangements with you.

Wards can be very busy and noisy at times. We are working hard to reduce unnecessary noise, such as from bins closing and noisy doors. Rest is very important, so if you are bothered by noise at night, please let a member of staff know, so that something can be done.


Same-sex accommodation

We are pleased to confirm that we are compliant with the Government’s requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is in the patient’s overall 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 bathrooms will be close to their bed area. Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary, for example where patients need specialist equipment (such as in Intensive Care, Critical Care High Dependency and Trauma Stabilisation Unit), or when patients actively choose to share (for instance on the children’s unit).


What is meant by same-sex accommodation?

  • The room where your bed is will only have patients of the same sex as you
  • Your toilet and bathroom will be assigned as either female or male.
  • Where specialist equipment is necessary to help you bathe, then you may use a unisex bathroom, but the nurse will explain this to you.
  • Those wards that care for both men and women do have separate sleeping areas and bathrooms. You may have to walk along the ward corridor to reach your bathroom, but you will not have to go through any opposite sex areas.
  • You may well see visitors and staff of the opposite sex, who will come into your room.

If our care should fall short of the required standard, we will report it. We have set up an audit mechanism to make sure that we do not misclassify any of our reports. The results of our audits are published and reported to our Clinical Governance and Assurance Committee.

We are fully committed to protecting privacy and dignity, and this is at the heart of our desire to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation. Staff uphold this principle and keep privacy and dignity at the forefront of all care and treatment decisions.

We regularly ask patients about their experience of same-sex accommodation so that we can continually improve.


When I am on a ward, can I receive calls directly and can I ring out? What other facilities are available by my bed?

Keeping in touch with friends and family is important to patients’ wellbeing but not everyone wants their own phone line, so there are some pay phones around the hospital and also trolleys with pay phones on most wards.

Most beds have Hospedia services which include a phone, TV and radio. You register for this service and buy cards to operate it, available from vending machines close to wards or at the WRVS shops. Children receive free TV from Hospedia. The service gives you terrestrial TV channels with headphones, free radio (including hospital radio run by the Bolton Lions who also take music requests via cards on the ward) and a telephone line.

All inpatients have free access to newspapers and magazines online, using NHS WiFi. Ask on the ward or follow the link to find out more information.

Calls from the hospital are no more expensive than a BT payphone but incoming calls are charged at a premium rate so it’s worth relatives and friends knowing this beforehand.


Use of Social Media

It is important that the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of all our patients and staff is respected and we therefore ask that patients and visitors do not take photos or comment on social media about other patients, visitors or staff.


What happens when you leave hospital?

It can sometimes be daunting going home when you are recovering from an illness or operation, so arrangements can be made for help at home if you need it. Please tell the nurse in charge of the ward if you’re worried about this. Ask a relative or friend to bring outdoor clothes for you the evening before you leave and arrange for someone to collect you, unless there is a special reason for you to have an ambulance. When you leave make sure you’ve got all the medicines you need and any appointments you are to attend in the future. If you have any questions at all, speak to a member of staff. It is important that you are able to ask any questions you may have.

It may be that, although you are ready to leave hospital, you have not enough confidence to return home again immediately or you need to be helped towards more independence. In that case there is a system called Intermediate Care which offers further recovery and rehabilitation.

This can provide help in a residential setting for a few weeks or it can be provided in your own home. It will always be arranged only after full discussion with you and, if appropriate, your family or carers. If you want to know more about residential intermediate care or intermediate care at home, ask ward staff while you are a patient and they can arrange for someone to come for a chat.